THE Scottish Ambulance Service has been fined following the death of woman who was thrown from her wheelchair as she travelled in one of their vehicles.
At Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday, the Scottish Ambulance Service Board (SASB) was fined £55,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which led to the death of May Jean Morris, 78.
Mrs Morris was being transported by the service when the vehicle carrying her was involved in a low speed accident in Renfrew Road, Paisley, in December 2008.
Although her wheelchair was secured by webbing straps, Mrs Morris was only secured by a nylon lap belt which was part of her wheelchair.
This was contrary to SASB protocol for transporting wheelchair- using passengers.
Mrs Morris was thrown from her wheelchair and sustained injuries from which she died three days later.
An investigation established that ambulance managers knew of the failure to provide and deploy the necessary wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint systems.
The specification of equipment on the vehicle was below what was required to safely complete the scheduled day's work.
Health and Safety Executive Inspector Graeme Waller said: "May Jean Morris died unnecessarily as a result of the SASB failing to assess the risks associated with the transport of patients in wheelchairs".
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We deeply regret the circumstances in which Mrs Morris died and the distress caused to her family."