Paramedic’s haircut as patient waited

A London paramedic who “regrets” shopping and having his hair cut while his patients waited anxiously in an ambulance should be banned from returning to work, a tribunal has heard.

Dominic Colella twice “held his colleagues to ransom” by forcing them to wait until his return so that seriously-ill patients could be taken to hospital, the Health And Care Professions Council (HCPC) were told.

Colella, who has since resigned from the London Ambulance Service, is facing two counts of misconduct.

In the first incident, an elderly man who collapsed from severe blood poisoning was forced to wait for 20 minutes in the back of an ambulance with his anxious wife before being taken to hospital, while Colella shopped in Marks and Spencer, the tribunal heard.

Two weeks later in March 2013, responding to another potentially life-threatening 999 call, he delayed a patient with a head injury from being taken to hospital so he could have his hair cut.

Investigating solicitor Sophie Lister, representing the HCPC, said: “On both occasions as Mr Colella was the driver there was nothing [his colleagues] could have done, they were totally held to ransom by his actions and put in an impossible position. There was no way they could get the patients to hospital, because they had to look after the patient.

“He said he would like to practice again. I suggest each incident is undoubtedly serious enough to amount to misconduct and impairs Mr Colella’s fitness to practice.”

The panel retired to consider its verdict.

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