Harry Dunn’s mother calls for meeting with Health Secretary over ambulance delay

The mother of Harry Dunn has called for a meeting with the Health Secretary after the teenager was left waiting for paramedics for 43 minutes despite “breaking every major bone” in a fatal road crash.

Charlotte Charles, along with Mr Dunn’s father Tim Dunn, met with the CEO of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and the CEO of Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on Thursday to discuss ways of tackling the problem of ambulance delays.

The 19-year-old’s family have urged Matt Hancock to “get right behind what we are trying to do” as they aim to “shine a light” on the reasons behind the delay in their son’s case.

Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles

Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

His alleged killer, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an intelligence official at RAF Croughton, claimed diplomatic immunity after the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

At a Policy Exchange event in London on Friday, the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Mr Dunn’s death and the investigation into allegations about the conduct of the Duke of York will be “resolved on their merits” after talk of a swap deal.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also said “there’s no haggle” in terms of the extradition of Mrs Sacoolas, and told reporters nobody had raised the issue of Andrew with him.

Mike Pompeo was criticised by Mr Dunn’s family after he rejected the extradition request on January 23.

Addressing the issue of the ambulance delay in her son’s case, Mrs Charles told the PA news agency: “NHS staff are heroes. They save lives all the time and we love them for that.

“But we have a problem. I have worked in a busy GP practice in South Northamptonshire for 14 years and the issues that have arisen following Harry’s passing and the circumstances surrounding the delay in the ambulance getting to him are well known to me.

“My family and I are devastated at Harry’s loss, but we have a real opportunity to use his case to make a real difference now.”

Mrs Charles continued: “Make no mistake, we cannot carry on as we are. Things need to change and we are determined to help.

“We are very much looking forward to meeting Matt Hancock and to urge him to get right behind what we are trying to do.

“The NHS needs our help but the issues are complex and we must tackle the root causes of the problems, not just come up with short-term fixes.”

With huge🙏to @toby_sanders of @NHSNene and Richard Henderson of @EMASNHSTrust and their teams for meeting us today, please see attached statement. Their staff are all heroes and we look forward to working with them to help. #HarryDunnhttps://t.co/ZEEuAtb1zs

— Radd Seiger (@RaddSeiger) January 30, 2020

Speaking after the meeting with EMAS and the CCG, the family spokesman Radd Seiger told PA: “We firmly believe that we can use the tragic case of Harry Dunn to shine a light on the root causes that are likely to have led to the delay in the ambulance getting to him and the wider pressures the NHS faces, and change the situation once and for all for all of our benefit.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure we gain his and the Government’s backing for this vital initiative.

“I am very grateful to the CEOs of Nene CCG and East Midlands Ambulance Service, Toby Sanders and Richard Henderson and their teams for seeing us today and look forward to working with them and the NHS to change things once and for all.”