"Outstanding care and service from NHS 111 & SecAmb"
About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Accident and emergency Medway Maritime Hospital Accident and emergency Gillingham ME7 5NY NHS 111 NHS 111 South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Lewes BN7 2XW
Posted by bailey 80 (as ),
After much deliberation and arguing with myself, I phoned the NHS 111 service on in early August for some advice and support.
I had recently been discharged after a prolonged stay in hospital post spinal surgery and was concerned about new onset pain, numbness, raised temperature and increase in symptoms associated with my IIH.
The call handler was swift and efficient in taking my medical history, reassuring me as she went along and after deciding on the best course of action (whether to pass me over to a clinical advisor or not), she informed me she organising immediate and urgent help from an ambulance - she even took down specific instructions on how to find my property as it isn't completely obvious from the road). It was dispatched on blue lights and the team arrived very quickly.
The team (who I learnt were a private crew) were extremely attentive and reassuring and it was brilliant to see how they worked together, the female crew member completing the examination and the male crew member completing all the paper work and taking my medical history. The team were calm throughout and their behaviour reflected to me, instantly reassuring me I was in safe and competent hands and would be brilliantly cared for by them.
They transferred me to MMH and took me in, somewhat painfully, to the ED. I observed a quick and thorough handover and the team and, following the nurses instructions, reluctantly found me a trolley in a corridor, got me comfortable and warm and we said our goodbyes.
I was then left on a trolley in the corridor for 90 mins with other equally as or more sick than me patients, with no observations, no monitoring and no pain relief; I was transferred to a cubicle and then left for at least another 20 mins, before being seen by a doctor.
Sadly I had to constantly repeat myself and my history was still inaccurately recorded. I was given pain relief, gratefully in the form of IV morphine.
I am saddened that more attention was paid to my recent spinal surgery than my neurological problem - both equally concerning to me and although a CT head was completed, this will never show any pathological changes for IIH/Hydrocephalus; after this no further review was done of my neuro condition (not even a fundoscopy) either whilst in ED or whilst on the ward for 3 days.
I was looked after well on the ward after we managed to eventually get my pain managed and under control, but am still disheartened by the lack of attention to my neurological problem (it appears from the outside that this is due to my care not being delivered at MMH). As a patient who will have to frequent the ED throughout my life for my LTC I can only hope it will be better managed in the future and not with just a CT and then no further examination or review and a request to see my Neurologist asap.
I had amazing first experience of using SecAmb, but sadly it was somewhat marred by my experience in ED and the approach to looking after my long term condition.