"Lack of communication that is hard to understand"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Urology Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as the patient),

I was very distressed yesterday having been left waiting for an ambulance from 3: 15 till 5: 50. I did not get home till 6: 50. I am a diabetic with other health problems and was just stranded.

Whist I was still being seen by the doctor I believe the renal nurse told the ambulance driver, who came to find out if I was ready to be collected, that I would be another 5 minutes. I found out later that they had a couple of other people waiting in the ambulance; the decision was made to leave without me and not to keep the other patients waiting just 5 more minutes.

When my appointment ended I was told to wait for the ambulance but was not given any information about how long it would be. Although the tea room was just round the corner from where I was told to wait I could not get any refreshments in case the ambulance came for me. Several drivers came and went but none were for me, no one was able to tell me when I would be picked up. It is the lack of communication that is hard to understand, If I’d known it would be another 30 minutes or an hour before the my transport would be ready I would have got something to eat, in the end I had to tell a porter that I was diabetic and my sugar levels were dropping so they could get something for me.

It is traumatic going to hospital in the first place and then to be kept waiting for so long is distressing. There were a lot of more elderly people also waiting for transport so this is not just about me but the others who also have been kept waiting for hours. What if this happens when I need to go for dialysis 3 times a week?

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Response from Pat O'Meara, National Head of Ambulance Control Services, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Roomy712,

Thank you for your feedback. It’s really important for the Scottish Ambulance Service to know what the experiences of our patients have been, whether that has been good or bad as it helps us to learn and to continually improve our service.

I was very sorry to hear that you waited so long for your ambulance transport and that no one told you what was happening, especially as you are diabetic. If you could contact me direct, I would welcome the opportunity to find out more about what happened so that I can look in to it in more detail.

My contact details are: Pat O’Meara 0141 810 6101

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Response from Kate MacDonald, Business Coordinator & Office Manager (interim), Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Roomy712

Thank you for highlighting this to us, I’m really sorry to hear of your experience which was clearly distressing. It is only when people take the time to tell us about their experience that we can do something to improve services.

You’ve highlighted a number of serious issue for us to address, both as NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and with our partners in the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), which I now that they have posted for you to get in touch with them.

In relation to our service I was concerned that, especially as you have diabetes, you were left for a significant period of time without food or drink. I will pass your concerns directly to the Assistant General Manager who covers our Renal Unit in order that this doesn’t happen again, either to you or someone else. I know they will want to know about your experience so that they can ensure it doesn’t happen again, and it does seem that with a little forethought we could have avoided the wait being as distressing for you.

I will post again as soon as I can.

Kind regards

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Roomy712,

Hi, I am Eunice, I am the patient opinion coordinator (as of Monday this week). I have spoken to our team and in order for the manger to take this further, it would really help if you could me some more details. Can you call me on 01563 826222 or email me at eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk and let me know what clinic you attended and the date of your appointment please?

We do want to help prevent this happening again and the extra information will help us to look into it further.

I do hope you are now well and no lasting issues after your distressing event.

Kind regards,


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