"No ambulance allowed as severed fingers considered a minor injury"

About: Queen Victoria Hospital / General surgery South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as a parent/guardian),

My son suffered a serious accident at working trimming hedges. He slipped down a muddy bank and severed his little finger and partially severed 2 fingers next to that. He was therefore bleeding quite heavily. He called 999 to request an ambulance to take him to A & E and was told they could not send an ambulance as it was 'a minor injury'. His boss drove, using flashing lights, to let other drivers know the urgency and breaking the speed limit to get to Royal Surrey County Hospital. Upon admittance he was told the full extent of his injuries and was rushed (in a ambulance) to the Queen Vicoria Hopsital in East Grinstead for emergency 12 hour micro surgery to save his fingers. I would, like to know on what grounds the ambulance service at Royal Surrey County Hospital deemed this to be 'a minor injury' and why they didn't do their job properly?

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Response from Louise Hutchinson, Patient Experience Lead, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Dear homer tested

I am so sorry to hear of your son's accident and the subsequent surgery he had to endure to re-attach his fingers - it must have been an awful shock for all of you, not to mention painful for your son.

While we are not able to send an ambulance to every 999 caller, we would very much appreciate the opportunity to investigate the concerns you raise about your specific case. I should therefore be grateful if you were able to contact my colleagues in SECAmb's Patient Experience Team to provide further details, either by telephone to 01273 484832 or by email to complaints@secamb.nhs.uk. If you prefer to email, it would be very helpful to know, in the first instance, when the 999 call was made (date and approximate time), the address of the incident, and your name and contact details.

I do hope your son is recovering well and should be grateful if you would pass on to him our very best wishes.

Thank you very much for taking the time to raise this concern and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely, Louise Hutchinson, Patient Experience Lead

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