"Delays getting help after wife's sudden illness"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111 Yeovil District Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as other),

Having been discharged from hospital 36 hours previously after knee replacement my wife developed a persistent cough until she had difficulty breathing.

Rang 111 answered after 17 mins and told a doctor would ring within 1 hour. More or less exactly 1 hr later received call but not from a doctor who on questioning me fully (again) said a doctor would visit. My wife deteriorated rapidly and I rang again to be told a doctor WOULD be visiting.

Eventually dialled 999 and paramedic arrived within 15 mins, by this time my wife's oyxgen levels had dropped and he administered oxygen and arranged for ambulance to take her to Yeovil hospital, by this time it was night time.

I went to great lengths explaining to the 999 control that 111 were sending a doctor and would they cancel this and was assured all was in hand, not so, at 1:30 am my daughter was woken up by a doctor calling in response some 9.5 hours after my first call. The doctor was somewhat annoyed quoting figures of his long list to visit. If the system was used correctly in the first instance this would not have occurred.

Full marks to paramedic John Woodward for his professionalism and attention.

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Responses

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

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Oldies

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am sorry to hear you felt you had an excessive wait using the 111 service, and apologise for the disruption caused by the late attendance by an out of hours doctor.

We would appreciate the opportunity to look into this incident. Could you please contact our Patient Experience team, at your convenience, on 01392 261585 or email patientexperience@swast.nhs.uk to discuss this further.

Thank you again for providing feedback on our services.

Kind regards

Laura

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