First Capital Connect staff 'cannot give medical help'

image captionThe company insisted its staff did their best

Staff at a rail company gave no medical assistance to a commuter who collapsed, it has emerged.

The man collapsed three weeks ago at St Albans station on a line into London run by First Capital Connect.

But bystanders were forced to give medical help. The company later said even if staff were trained, they were only permitted to help other employees.

A First Capital Connect spokesman said its staff did their best.

Rachel Hughes was one of the commuters who tried to help.

She said: "They [the staff] were milling around, not very certain what to do.

"We then had a member of the public who shouted for a doctor.

"There did not seem to be one."

She added: "At this point there were quite a few members of the public getting agitated by the staff, saying, 'have you not got a first aider?'

"They were saying, 'We haven't got first aid training'."

'Moral obligation'

After Mrs Hughes complained, First Capital Connect e-mailed her saying that while some employees were trained in first aid, "this is only offered to staff and not customers".

Mrs Hughes added: "I would say it is a moral obligation to provide first aiders."

Although it is not illegal to refuse to provide passengers with medical assistance, the Health and Safety Executive "strongly recommends employees should consider the public".

A First Capital Connect spokesman said: "Our staff always try to do their best to help customers.

"In this case they identified a passenger on a train whose health was causing them concern so they encouraged him to leave the train early at St Albans.

"After he had left the train he collapsed. Staff did what they could until the emergency services arrived."

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