"What a shame, superb treatment marred."

About: Conquest Hospital South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service

After a fall, I was taken to the DGH, treated with courtesy, kindness and skill. Then to the Conquest. During the journey a kidney dish was offered in case of travel sickness. I requested some water. None was available and none to take with the analgesics. The crew then tried to splint my leg, the device was broken. The treatment on Benson ward was outstanding. I watched the doctor expertly lead their team who exhibited respect and cooperation both upwards and downwards ( Nursing, OT, Physio, HCA's). It was a pleasure to see. I would like to request that more time be afforded to ensuring that elderly patients were helped/encouraged to drink/eat. This was lacking. One HCA was the exception, they were excellent, showing patience and kindness. On discharge my husband offered to collect me but was refused, the car deemed to be unsuitable for an extended leg injury, (seats could have been dropped). The Patient Transport journey to Eastbourne was absolutely horrendous. A complete blot on the whole experience. The seating on the vehicle made it impossible for me to extend my leg. The attendant tried to reposition the seat but was unable to do so. They sourced a stool and pillows but there was no room for extension. The vehicle, was loaded with a stretcher case, myself, two others, a wheelchair, Zimmers, patient’s personal baggage and bags of medicines. Due to space shortage, the attendant sat in the front with the driver along with a Zimmer and large bags of medication. It was not until the two ladies were dropped in Bexhill, that there was room in the back for the attendant. The stretchered lady was strapped in securely around her lower limbs, her upper torso was inadequately restrained and she “rolled” as the vehicle negotiated the bends and potholes. She had been hospitalised due to an intestinal blockage and found the lack of stability uncomfortable and distressing, particularly around her stomach. After drop-offs in Bexhill we proceeded towards Eastbourne. I mentioned to the attendant I would be happy to be dropped off last as both destinations were equidistant. I was dropped off at home next and found I had been given the other patient’s drugs. My drugs and Zimmer were still on the vehicle. A quick telephone call remedied this. Journey 2 hours. The roads were not particularly busy. Prior to retirement I was a Lecturer in Health and Social Care. For several years responsible for the Health and Safety Training at SEA, Lewes. During that time I found the patient transport staff to be committed and caring. To be fair I had no contact with the driver, but the lack of compassionate care by the other attendant was obvious. I am not an impatient person, nor did I expect to have a vehicle to myself but I felt like this journey was a bit like a cattle truck. The contracting out of this service has been a step in the wrong direction. The ethos appears to be fill the vehicles up and get them out.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››