"Cannot criticise the speed"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as a friend),

Following the death of his mother a friend of mine called the services to let them know. Unfortunately the operator thought that it was a sudden death and triggered both the ambulance service and the police who were very quickly at my friend’s house.

I cannot criticize the speed at which the services responded. However, at a time when we hear of ambulance shortages I was surprised that both a responder car and a large ambulance were present and both stayed for the duration. Did they both need to stay?

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Response from Laura Martin, Patient Engagement Administrator, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Similar839

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Please pass on my sincere condolences to your friend for the sad loss of their mother.

It is very difficult to respond to your post as I am unable to pin point the incident on the information supplied. However, ambulances are dispatched on the information that is supplied to the call taker. A call to our service is a call for help, and if there is any chance that we may be able to provide that help we will respond.

There could be many reasons for the ambulance crews to stay on scene once a death has been confirmed. This could be anything from the need for the clinical grade of the staff present to complete the necessary paperwork, to the need for them to be present to ensure the welfare of family members and others at the scene. We not only want to give the best possible care to our patients, but also to the people around them who may also need support in such difficult circumstances.

Thank you again, for taking the time to provide feedback on our service.

Kind regards


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