"A complete farce and waste of valuable NHS resources"

About: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust / Emergency ambulance NHS 111 Pilgrim Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had been in extreme pain from 9 o'clock in the evening and the time was now 1pm and as I am intolerant to opiate based analgesics my husband phoned 111 for advice and I had started vomiting He answered the long list of questions he was asked, then answered them again when he was passed on and an ambulance was sent out. The crew worked quickly and efficiently and advised that they could take me to A and E, or I could see if their treatment was effective first.

Not wanting to cause more fuss, it seemed logical to wait to see if their treatment worked. But I remained in pain and we went to the A and E by car. My legs went from underneath me due to the pain as I tried to walk to the casualty unit. We waited for about an hour before being seem by a triage nurse, going through all the same questions, again, but who gave me a drip to hydrate me. Then we waited to see a doctor, which we didn't, but had to answer all the questions again to the 'healthcare professional' who came. They took blood and arranged an x-ray, came back to take another blood test 'to identify the source of the infection'. After waiting, still in extreme pain, a doctor appeared and asked the questions all over again! He said there was no infection and said I could go home with some medication.

My husband had to drive me home, after paying the expensive parking fee, before setting off to the pharmacy in town to get the prescription.

I could not keep the medication down, as I started vomiting again, due to the extreme pain, so, as casualty had told us to contact them if further problems, we contacted them. They told us they could not advise us to come in, but would leave the notes out for us. Recalling the long waiting times, we contacted our GP surgery. Morning surgery was about to finish it would not be open that afternoon, they could not guarantee a doctor until about 5pm or even the next morning. In desperation, all I needed was some anti vomiting medication so that I could take the other medication, we called 111. Going through all the questions again, twice, they contacted our GP, who by this time had the information from the hospital and advised it would be quicker to go there as we should because of the infection.

An even longer wait, after a painful car journey, later, we went through all the same questions again, twice, no drip this time, again told no infection but after several hours were finally given a prescription for anti vomiting medication. These could only be obtained from the hospital pharmacy, and there was an half hour wait. Again we paid parking fees, again my husband ran me home, again still in agony, in order to return to the hospital again to collect my prescription. A complete farce and waste of valuable NHS resources. If, my GP could have come out, out of hours, as in the past, I would have been out of pain quickly and been treated by someone who knows me and my medical needs. I'm sure this would have been far more cost effective and would have greatly reduced the time I was in extreme pain.

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Responses

Response from East Midlands Ambulance Service

Dear WestieBones

I am pleased to read that our ambulance crew was able to provide you with assistance by working quickly and efficiently, and that you were offered a choice with regard to the next steps available to you.

I recognise that much of your post relates to other services in the NHS and so I will take the extract that relates to EMAS and share it with our staff via our internal newsletter so they can read the positive comment about the care provided by colleagues. I will also share your post with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Kind regards

Melanie Wright, Deputy Director of Communications and Engagement

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Update posted by WestieBones (the patient)

It's great to have a response. Makes me feel it was worth submitting my story.

I don't like to complain, but know if you don't, then people don't know and can't do anything about it. I'm not surprised that the ambulance service was the first to respond!