"Help for my mother via 111"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111

(as a relative),

I phoned 111 today for advice for my mother who was very unwell (blood pressure and cardiac problems) following admission to hospital 2 weeks ago. I was told someone would ring me back in 30 minutes but nobody did so over an hour later I called again and was told someone would ring me back ASAP.

After 30 minutes no one had called me back again so I phoned again to ask what was happening as I had to keep ringing and not getting any advice. The person answering the phone asked me to calm down which was insulting as I was calm and just wanted some answers and advice. After putting me on hold they said someone would call me back when they could. When I said I was not happy with that response they said it was because they were busy. I suggested that I get help to put my mother in a chair and take her to the out of hours clinic and they said that she wouldn’t be seen.

I advised the person I was speaking to that I would be contacting the CCG to give feedback.

I think that 111 is a shambles and needs serious reorganisation. Why am I repeatedly told I will receive a call back within a time frame only to find no call back occurs? I also find it insulting to be told to calm down when I am neither shouting, swearing, being insulting or abusive to the person answering the phone. I think there needs to be better training for those people in interpersonal skills so they can communicate with the public and re-assure them rather than making incorrect judgements.

The 111 system is very definitely not working in my opinion as I am still sitting here waiting for help for my mother who is unwell. Bring back the out of hours GP’s as quickly as possible.

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Good Afternoon Namaste,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I hope your mother is feeling better now.

I'm sorry to hear that you were not happy with the service you received. If you would like us to look into the specific events concerning your experience, we would be very happy to do so but we will need some detailed information to enable us to do this. Please may I ask you to contact our Patient Experience Team on either swast.patientexperience@nhs.net or 01392 261 585 and a member of the team will take you through the next steps of the process.

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


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