A WOMAN died from an overdose after her 999 call to the ambulance service was wrongly categorised.

Colchester-born Sarah Fernyhough, 30, died after taking tablets and alcohol at her home in Halstead.

The inquest into her death heard Ms Fernyhough called the ambulance service after she had taken an overdose.

The call was cut off before the full procedure could be completed to determine the nature and categorisation of the call and it was automatically processed as a category three call meaning the response time would be within 120 minutes.

The hearing was told Ms Fernyhough had a medical history of depression, anxiety, unstable personality disorder and had previously taken overdoses.

The inquest heard from Sarah’s close friend James Pritchard who had known her for about eight years and seen her on the evening of her death.

He said: “She seemed like she had been drinking.

“She kept telling me how much she loved me and giving me a cuddle and all that. She was just being herself but more lovey.

“When I got home I messaged her saying don’t do anything stupid. She didn’t seem right, she had done silly things before so I said don’t do anything stupid.

“That night I did not have a clue about it.”

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray yesterday recorded a narrative verdict after concluding the evidence did not indicate Sarah intended to take her own life.

She said Sarah had taken an overdose of drugs including cocaine and cannabis as well as alcohol.

She added: “At 23.53 on May 21, she called the ambulance service but on attendance of fire and ambulance crews at 3.04am on May 22, she could not be resuscitated.

“There was a delay in attendance and failings in the procedures in place for the categorisation of calls.

“It is not certain whether, if paramedics has arrived sooner, she would have survived.

“The evidence does not indicate on the balance of probabilities the deceased intended to take her own life.”

Ms Beasley-Murray also asked the East of England Ambulance service to submit a document outlining who is responsible for national ambulance service timings and categorising.

She said: “The court is considering writing a prevention of future death report.

“The court would like this report and it would be good to hear it fed into national policy makers and also the East of England Ambulance Service.”