October 13, 2021 11.42 am

Mum calls for answers after son’s tragic death waiting for access to A&E

Family and friends are fundraising for his funeral

A distraught mother has pleaded for answers after the death of her 27-year-old son.

Norman Barker experienced chest pains and was told there would be a two-hour wait for an ambulance and four-hours before he could be seen at Lincoln’s A&E.

Norman was born in Lincoln, and was still known by that name by his family. A few years ago he changed his first name to James by deed poll, and was also known by many friends as James Salvator.

After being told there was a four-hour wait at A&E at Lincoln County Hospital on September 27, he decided to go for a walk and head with his mother to her house. He grabbed his mum’s arm just outside the hospital and asked for help as he collapsed, but sadly he later died.

Norman Barker/James Salvator was proud to be gay and enjoyed attending pride events.

His mother Sue believes her son should have been seen sooner and told The Lincolnite that she still wants answers.

She said: “When I spoke to EMAS they said they were going to listen to the 999 call and investigate, and see if my son was prioritised properly.

“I was told it would take at least two weeks, but I will keep chasing them as I want answers as to why the wait for an ambulance would be so long. I want answers as to why my son wasn’t seen with the symptoms he had straight away.

“The local community and my son’s friends have all pulled together and that has meant a lot to me. The support I have had from everyone has been amazing. I would like to say a big thank you to all the people that have supported me, I can’t thank them enough, and I’d do the same for them.”

The Patient Experience Team at East Midlands Ambulance Service will get back in touch with Sue to provide an overview of the outcomes from the investigation once all the information has been gathered.

Sue Cousland, Divisional Director for the Lincolnshire Division of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), previously said: “We offer our deepest condolences to Norman’s family and friends during this really difficult time.

“We are speaking with Norman’s family directly so we can fully investigate what happened.”

ULHT said as it is unable to comment on individual cases, there is nothing further it can add to the original statement at this time.

A hospital spokesperson previously said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases, but would like to offer our condolences to the friends and family of Mr Barker.

“Like most areas of the NHS, we have seen extreme demands on our urgent care services in recent weeks, as well as delays in discharging patients into care outside of our hospitals.”

Norman with his mum Sue (left) and pictured with his little nephew Cain.

Funeral fundraising

Sue told The Lincolnite she needs to raise around £2,100 for the funeral, although this figure could increase depending what happens with DWP.

More than £1,000 has so far been raised – donations can be made here and via Sue’s Facebook fundraiser.

Sue would like the date for the funeral to be November 5, as bonfire night was a time of year that her son loved, and this date has been provisionally agreed.

She is planning to dye her hair with pride colours, as well as holding a table top sale outside Green Synergy on Roman Pavement in Lincoln on Sunday, October 17.

Sue will do a sponsored walk with a group of others on October 27. The route will be from her home address on the Tower Estate, past her son’s house off Rookery Lane, and then to The Scene where people will gather for a drink in his honour.

Norman with his mum Sue and brother Freddie.

Norman (centre) with his brothers Shaun (left) and Freddie (right). Norman also had a younger brother called Jimmy.

One of James/Norman’s closet friends Ashley Hill will host a live stream show here under his drag act name Velma Vile from 7pm on Sunday, October 17. He will be playing cheese tunes, and there will be videos from James/Norman’s family and friends talking about him, including a poem from Justin Hussey.

Ashley told The Lincolnite: “I knew James from when I used to DJ in The Scene and have known him ever since. I would often see him in other venues I worked in and he was simply a very kind and caring young man, always willing to help out.

“He was an absolute star at my recent Pride event, he was helping out backstage and helping me no end, he was like my own personal assistant.

“He was a very kind, caring and funny young man who is very sadly missed by many. I’ve been working hard for his mum and family trying to raise funeral money and also to help relieve stress for them at such a terrible time.”

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