Probe launched into 999 mix-up

PHONE regulators are carrying out an urgent investigation into why a 999 ambulance call for a dying baby was routed to England.

Little Kai Curran was just 15 weeks old when he died on January 3.

The tot had developed breathing difficulties while at his grandmother’s house in Carronshore.

But, as gran Jennifer Whiteside (40) frantically called for an ambulance, the emergency operator said her address was showing up in England and not Scotland.

When the mix-up was eventually sorted, it appears paramedics could have been further delayed after a trainee refused to take the call because she was working alone.

Two ambulances eventually turned up at the house in Skaithmuir Avenue and Kai was rushed to Stirling Royal Infirmary.

But, despite the efforts of staff, Kai couldn’t be saved and the news was broken to his heartbroken parents, Laura Whiteside (21) and Andrew Curran (23).

When The Falkirk Herald revealed the family’s tragedy last month, Laura, who also has a daughter Sophie (3), said: “We kept wondering why the ambulance had taken so long and if Kai would have had a better chance if they’d got there quicker.”

For weeks the cause of Kai’s sudden death was unexplained, but yesterday (Wednesday) Laura revealed they had been told the infant had contracted swine flu.

Now Ofcom, the communications industry regulator, has launched an investigation into the mix up over where the ambulance call was made from.

The Whitesides’ phone provider, TalkTalk, has a duty to provide caller location information for all 999 calls to the emergency organisations handling those calls.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are taking this incident very seriously. Under our rules, communications providers are required to provide the correct information about the location of callers who dial 999. We are now investigating whether TalkTalk is fully compliant with our rules.”

An inquiry has also been launched by the Scottish Ambulance Service into the delayed response to the 999 call.

The trainee was also suspended while the investigation was carried out.

Last night, Laura welcomed the Ofcom inquiry and said: “Hopefully this will never happen to another family.”