"Emergency response too slow"

About: NHS 111 South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as the patient),

I called 111 at 11. 00pm on a Wednesday night as I was suffering from severe abdominal pain. They called an ambulance.

By 11. 30pm I was in agony and my wife and children were very frightened. By 1. 30am the ambulance had still not arrived despite repeat calls from my wife about my deteriorating condition.

By the time the ambulance came I was gasping for breath and all of us were feeling traumatised. It transpired that I had kidney stones which are known to be extremely painful but thankfully not life threatening. However we did not know that at the time and had my condition been life threatening the outcome could have been very different.

Over two hours for an emergency call is too long.

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Response from Louise Hutchinson, Patient Experience Lead, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Basil1

I was so sorry to read of your extended wait for an ambulance recently, and can’t imagine how distressing the situation must have been for you and your family.

We would very much welcome the opportunity to look into this incident in order to ascertain exactly what happened, and I should be very grateful if you were able to contact our Patient Experience Team, who will be pleased to take this forwards. It would be most helpful if you were able to email pet@secamb.nhs.uk, providing the date of your call, the telephone number you called from, and the address we were called to, to enable us to investigate fully and to provide a robust response to the issues you raise.

I really do sympathise, as I understand that kidney stones are incredibly painful, and I do hope you have now recovered from this particular episode, and have a treatment plan in place.

Thank you very much for taking the time to feed back to us and we look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Yours sincerely, Louise Hutchinson

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