"Waiting almost 5 hours for nurse to call"

About: NHS 24

(as the patient),

I telephoned NHS24 at 1am this morning after experiencing severe headaches to which I had already seen my GP about on the Monday morning, my symptoms began to get worse late evening and into the early hours of the morning. I then telephoned NHS24 for advice I was then told they were busy that a nurse would call me back, it then went after 2am then 3am then 4am and still no nurse called back. I called back NHS24 to say I took a tumble she said we will write it up in the notes and said some one would call me back I have been still waiting for this call back.

I think this is shocking that the length of time I had to wait to speak with a nurse I would have no doubt been quicker seeing a vet even still going to A & E but as our A & E is two hours away I felt I best wait and now I have managed to see a GP later the same day.

I am feeling weak tired frustrated and very irritated in the way I have been left what is the point on calling NHS 24 when they cannot even call you back!

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Waterloo

Thank you very much for your feedback via Patient Opinion. I have read your posting with concern and I would very much like to have the opportunity of arranging for this to be investigated for you. I can completely understand that this situation will have left you feeling frustrated and irritated, and I am sorry that this has been your experience of our service.

It may be helpful if I explain that all calls to NHS 24 are assessed on the clinical symptoms being displayed by a patient. On initial contact with NHS 24, the Call Handler captures the call reason and, following a number of safety questions, if all NHS 24 Nurse Practitioners are dealing with other patients, we do place calls on the clinical queue to await a call back from an NHS 24 Nurse Practitioner. We aim to return calls which are placed on the clinical queue within 1, 2 or 3 hours, depending on the symptoms being displayed. I would like to offer you assurance that all calls placed on the clinical queue are monitored and prioritised at all times by NHS 24 Senior Clinical Staff.

NHS 24 are keen to learn from feedback such as yours and to have an opportunity of exploring why things did not perhaps go as they should have. I would be very pleased to hear directly from you to enable us to look at this further. I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With kind regards

Shona Lawrence

Patient Affairs Manager

NHS 24

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