A SALISBURY man who died from a fatal drugs overdose had waited more than four hours for an ambulance, an inquest heard.

Emergency crews had been called to Ben Wright's flat on McNamara Street, Longhedge at 9.36am on November 25 last year, but his symptoms at that stage were not considered to require immediate attention.

Salisbury Coroners’ Court heard that, as a result, the South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) had labelled his condition as category three, meaning they needed to respond within two hours.

However, they were unable to do so.

A friend, Patrick Egerton – who was originally been with him in the morning before leaving the flat, then phoned the ambulance service again at 1.18pm, after finding that Mr Wright's condition had deteriorated on his return.

Crews then upped his case to a category two and arrived at the scene within 19 minutes.

But, by the time they reached the 30-year-old, it was too late, and despite paramedics' attempts to resuscitate him, he died within 15 minutes of their arrival.

Speaking at the inquest, a representative from SWASFT said that "no priority symptoms mentioned by Mr Wright warranted a higher category of call than Category 3 in the initial triage."

They added that after the initial phone call, attempts were made by clinicians to check on Mr Wright, but they were unable to get hold of him.

The inquest heard that that Mr Wright had been into Salisbury the night before to buy drugs, and a bag of white substance was found in his flat by Wiltshire Police officers.

This backed the toxicology report which found cocaine in his system. A post mortem examination then concluded a fatal overdose of the class a drug to be the cause of Mr Wright's death.

Assistant coroner Ian Singleton said: "Unfortunately, this was a drugs overdose.

"There is nothing to suggest foul play, but resources were not available for an ambulance to attend in time."

A conclusion of accidental death was recorded.

Following the inquest, a SWASFT spokesperson said: "Our thoughts are with Mr Wright’s family and friends at this time.

"The coroner found that Mr Wright died of drug-related causes and there were no formal recommendations for the ambulance service.

"The trust will continue to work with the family to address any concerns they may have."