Two nurses, a receptionist and a hospital porter have been sacked by Walsall Healthcare Trust for failing to respond to a man who collapsed and died outside the trust’s accident and emergency department.

Two other staff, a receptionist and a porter, have received written warnings, the trust announced today.

The action follows an investigation into the death of 47-year-old Carl Cope who suffered a fatal heart attack near the entrance to the hospital’s accident and emergency on 23 June this year.

Mr Cope was taken to the hospital by paramedics after dialling 999 complaining of chest pains.

He had not been discharged when he went outside the hospital where he collapsed.

In total 11 NHS staff were suspended, four from West Midlands Ambulance Service and seven from the trust.

One paramedic from West Midlands Ambulance Service was sacked in August following an investigation. Another resigned while two other ambulance staff received written warnings.

They have all been referred to the Health and Care Professions Council. Walsall said it was considering referring the two nurses involved to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Walsall chief executive Richard Kirby told HSJ: “The staff saw what was going on and did not respond in the way they should have done.”

He said he was “shocked and disappointed” at the staff reaction but added: “I sincerely hope this is one of those incredibly upsetting but rare incidents that happen rather than a sign of a broader cultural problem at the trust.”

He added: “The level of care provided to this patient was unacceptable and fell well below our aim to provide a consistently first class experience to all those that use our services.”

A formal joint review between the hospital and the ambulance service will now be carried out and action will also be taken to improve the way patients are tracked within the A&E department.

Walsall has invested £100,000 in employing more nurses in its A&E department and has appointed three new A&E consultants.