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Investigation into sickle cell death kept private

LEFT TO DIE: The paramedics who failed to assist sickle cell sufferer Sarah Mulenga, 21, have quit ahead of the completion of a disciplinary process

AN INQUIRY into the death of sickle cell sufferer Sarah Mulenga who paramedics refused to take to hospital is being withheld by London Ambulance Service.

A spokesman for the service said they were keeping the findings private at the family’s request despite a huge public interest in the shocking case which led to two employees being suspended.

The pair has since quit their roles ahead of a scheduled disciplinary.

The report comes fives months after Miss Mulenga’s death. The 21-year-old died on January 9 after having a sickle cell attack at her home, in Barking, east London.

She was found by her landlady, Chinwe Moneke, who lodged the complaint over her treatment.

Moneke told The Voice: "The ambulance crew did not check Sarah’s temperature or heartbeat. In fact, they did not touch her at all."

She said Sarah, who was usually tidy, was in so much pain that she soiled herself. She claimed it was for this reason that paramedics refused to touch her.

"She screamed twice and begged them to help her but the tall lady [one of the paramedics] told her to stop acting like a child and that she had seen a lot of people with flu [who acted better than Sarah]," Moneke added.

Moneke also claimed the paramedic told the ill woman to get out of bed and "screamed" at her when she failed to do so.

Another ambulance had to be called, and it arrived 45 minutes later, but Miss Mulenga's condition deteriorated and she died later in hospital.

A London Ambulance Service (LAS) spokesman told The Voice: “Our investigation into what happened on January 9 is now complete and we have shared our findings with Sarah’s family.

"The two members of staff who were first to attend Sarah resigned from the Service ahead of a disciplinary process being completed.

"We have informed the Health Professions Council (HPC) about this case. We have a responsibility to do this in relation to cases involving aspirant paramedics as well as registered paramedics."

The family have not responded to attempts to contact them.

In a past interview with The Voice Sarah’s brother Chango Mulenga, 29, of Croydon, said: "It's difficult not knowing what's going on. At this particular time, it’s very difficult and frustrating, because it’s being prolonged. All we want is closure. We want answers as to why things happened in that way."

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