"Was not allowed to travel with husband"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as a relative),

My husband has emphysema and is very frail. When an appointment for a hospital clinic came through I called the hospital transport service to book an ambulance for him. I fully expected to be able to travel with my husband but was told that I could not unless he had dementia.

I understand the need for some criteria but am disgusted that I was refused to be able to travel with my very frail husband. He never goes anywhere alone because of his condition, this restriction will mean that I have to travel separately, by taxi to get there in time. This will cost £40, more distressing for both of us is that my husband will be on his own.

There should be some consideration taken for the frailty of the patient.

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Responses

Response from Pat O'Meara, National Head of Ambulance Control Services, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Naval417, I'm really sorry to hear about your call. It must have been very distressing to find out that you could not travel with your husband.

We do have escort criteria and this is so that we use as many seats on ambulances as possible for patients rather than passengers, but the criteria is not hard and fast and we look at every request on a case by case basis. We also have very simple and easy to access processes to deal with any case where we refuse to move an escort and I wonder whether you were told that you could immediately ask for a supervisor to look at your request?

Please may I ask you to contact me on 0141 810 6101 if you are able to so that we can look at your request. I don't know what date your husband has his appointment but I do want to see if I can help you.

Pat

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