"Unacceptable delay and distress caused"

About: NHS 24 NHS Lothian Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as a relative),

4pm last Friday my sister's GP promised to arrange an ambulance to take her to the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh. (Which is great by the way)

7pm, no ambulance. We didn't know who to ring, Tried NHS 24 they didn't know. Tried out of hours surgery they could't help us.

Having a reference number didn't help. In the end we phoned the Hospice who promised to look into things and get back to us. That's service. We then found out the ambulance had never been booked.... or so we were told. It arrived at 10pm.

Key lesson throughout was how much needs to be learned about efficiency and communication and a realisation this is not just about a strategic plan to get transport, . It involved a distressed patient.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Aloysius

Thank you for taking the trouble to let us know that you and your sister have been let down, particularly at such a difficult time for you both. I am really sorry that you didn't get the help for your sister when you needed it.

Your post highlights the importance of learning and efficiency in order to provide care for patients which meet their needs, and the needs of their carers.

I understand that you have posted your feedback anonymously, but if you feel up to giving me a call to tell me about what happened in more detail, I'd like to follow up to understand where things fell down and to put them right, so we can avoid something similar happening to another family.

You can contact me on 0131 314 0065.

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Aloysious

Patient Opinion has shared your posting with NHS 24 as within your story you have referenced contact with our service. I read with concern the detail you have provided in relation to patient transport. I appreciate that this would have been a worrying and frustrating time.

NHS 24 is keen to explore your contact with our service to understand this fully. This would enable us to review the call to establish if there is anything we could have done better or differently to assist at this time. I would be pleased if you would kind enough to contact me directly on 0141 337 4582 to enable NHS 24 to review this call. Alternatively, you can email me at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

With kind regards

Shona Lawrence

Patient Affairs Manager

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Response from Customer Relations and Feedback Team, NHS Lothian

Dear Aloysious

Patient Opinion has also shared your story with NHS Lothian. I am so sorry to read your post. This was understandably an extremely difficult and distressing time for both you and your sister.

I do not know if you have now had the opportunity to discuss this situation with the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS 24 who may have been able to explain what went wrong.

If in fact the ambulance was not booked by the GP can I suggest you contact the GP surgery directly as GPs are independent practitioners and as such all complaints and concerns should be made directly to the practice manager. However, if you feel you do not wish to contact the practice directly if you wish to contact Margaret Fraser on 0131 465 5658 or email margaret.m.fraser@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk I would be happy to contact the GP on your behalf in an attempt to ascertain what went wrong.