PERFORMANCE: A criminal investigation has been launched into the death of a patient who collapsed outside a hospital A&E department.

West Midlands Police has told HSJ it is examining the circumstances surrounding the death of 47-year-old Carl Cope who collapsed outside Walsall Manor Hospital on 23 June.

Eleven NHS staff were suspended, four from West Midlands Ambulance Service and seven from Walsall Healthcare Trust, amid claims they ignored Mr Cope as he lay on the ground.

It emerged last week that one paramedic from West Midlands Ambulance Service had already been sacked and another had resigned following the incident on 23 June. Two other ambulance staff have received final warnings.

Walsall Healthcare Trust is continuing to investigate the conduct of its seven workers believed to have been involved and has confirmed it is working with detectives from West Midlands Police.

Detective chief inspector Bob Hazel said: “We can confirm that we are investigating an incident at Walsall Manor Hospital. The investigation is still on-going and we are being assisted by the hospital trust and West Midlands Ambulance Service.”

The investigations centre of claims Mr Cope was ignored by NHS workers and members of the public after he collapsed.

He had been taken to A&E by ambulance after calling 999 complaining of chest pains. He went outside the building but had not been discharged.

A post mortem found he died of a heart attack.

West Midlands Ambulance Service have referred all four of its employees to the Health Professions Council