"Trust in 999 call handling is critically undermined"
About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Emergency ambulance Exeter EX2 7HY
Posted by Lauym3 (as ),
The following feedback was recieved by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust via an online Have Your Say form:
My disabled wife had suffered a fall and damaged her ankle. It was clear to both of us that the ankle was broken, and the cramped location in our home made handling an injured adult by one semi able-bodied person impractical and possibly dangerous. I needed on-site medical and and practical assistance to transfer her to an A&E department, hence my call to 999 for help. The call-taker's questioning protocol lead her to the conclusion that ambulance assistance was not necessary and the call was terminated with a recommendation to transfer the patient to an A&E 'within an hour'. At that point, and much to my relief, an ambulance crew appeared at my door. They had clearly been summoned in response to my call, which makes the 999 call-taker's response even more perplexing. It is my opinion that the 999 response protocol was at fault or was not followed correctly as it failed to expose the difficulty involved in transferring an injured person to an A&E. It is difficult not to suspect an organisational culture focused too much on avoiding the use of stretched ambulance resources rather than a focus on patient care.