"I felt pressurised to not take my son to hospital"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as a parent/guardian),

My young child had a prolonged seizure at the weekend which had not resolved after administrating his emergency medication. I phoned 999 as per his seizure management plan and spoke to a lovely call operative who stayed on the phone until someone arrived. By the time help had arrived our son was slowly starting to come out his seizure but he was still unresponsive and eyes deviated to the right so we knew he still wasn't ok. The paramedic/technician was in a single man response unit and after checking my son's vital signs asked us if we wanted to take him to hospital as 'it will be hours before we can get an ambulance, it's handover time'. At this point I felt pressurised to not take my son to hospital and in all honesty felt quite upset about the whole thing. Our son has a complex epilepsy disorder resulting in multiple seizures daily and we have been lucky to have only required 999 assistance twice in 6 years. I can almost understand that comment if we were time wasters but even then it's a totally inappropriate comment to make to a patient and their family. The person that attended certainly made sure we knew that we could phone back if things deteriorated but I'd have been reluctant to do so. Thankfully our son was fine but I would ask that technicians/paramedics think before they speak.

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Responses

Response from Martin Esposito, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Martin Esposito

Dear Ajem4680

Thank you so much for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. This must have been an extremely frightening and distressing experience for you.

I was pleased to read your kind words about our Call Handler and was glad to hear that they stayed on the line with you to provide advice and support until our Paramedic arrived. I was very concerned to read your comments about the Paramedic and that you felt pressurised into not taking your son to hospital.

I would really appreciate the opportunity to look in more depth at this case and ensure that we learn from your experience. Please can I ask you to contact me on 0131 314 0003 or at martinesposito@nhs.net

In the mean time, I am extremely sorry that you were left feeling upset by the comments made by our Paramedic and I do hope that your son is recovering well.

Take care

Martin.

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