"Patient experience being taken home from A and E"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service

(as a relative),

My husband is immobile and had to go to hospital for an x-ray. To get him there he was taken from our house in a wheelchair, up a ramp into the ambulance and then transferred to the ambulance bed. To get him home the A&E nurse was obliged to call a control centre to request an ambulance. There then ensued a lengthy conversation as to how my husband could be transported the preference being by ambulance bed or trolley, they did not like the use of the wheelchair. Eventually the ambulance crew came to speak to us. The ambulance man told me he could not bring his trolley into my house. When I explained how my husband been transported to hospital and that we had a wheelchair that was OK. This conflicts with criteria used by control room.

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

Dear r1s,

I was very sorry to hear that you had problems getting home. It must have been very distressing for you and your husband.

It is normal for ambulance crews to speak with patients, family and hospital staff about any issues they might encounter with moving patients, but normally this is all understood before the crew arrive at the home or hospital of the patient and what is required is agreed at the time of the ambulance booking request, either by talking to the patient, carer or family, or with the hospital staff. The crew should arrive at the patient with a clear idea of what is needed.

I don't have enough detail to understand what happened here but it may be that the crew taking you home were an emergency crew and emergency ambulances cannot safely carry wheelchairs, but I don't understand why the wheelchair was an issue and then it wasn't.

May I please ask you to contact me on 0141 810 6101 so that I can look in to this for you and also ensure that any future requests for your husband can be dealt with better?


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