"Ambulance response to a distressed patient"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Sixty five year old man in Forfar whose 27 year old son had recently died and whose dog had died too. Emotionally bereft and living alone - decanted into a temporary address due to council work in his flat. Known health problems and poor nutrition. During acute illness with breathing difficulty he called for ambulance (The first time he had ever called for help). A member of ambulance crew found him lying on the floor and shook him roughly, repeatedly asking if he had been drinking. This patient doesn't drink and uses some non-conventional treatments. Unsympathetic flash judgements and rough handling by ambulance crew left a vulnerable patient traumatised to the extent he will be hesitant to call for help again.

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Response from Martin Esposito, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Martin Esposito

Dear Lindesfarne

I was really saddened to read this story but glad you have shared it with us. This is clearly not how we would expect our ambulance crews to act and the thought that someone might not call an ambulance when they need to is really worrying. Please can you pass on my apologies to the patient. I would really like the opportunity to find out more about this if possible? If you or the patient would like to contact me my details are martinesposito@nhs.net or 0131 314 0003.

Take care


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