"Being asked if I was an alcoholic"

About: Castle Hill Hospital / Cardiology Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as the patient),

I suffered an acute heart attack. I was in immense pain. I dialed 999 and the operator took all my details. When, after some time, the paramedic arrived I had to give all the details again and once more to the ambulance crew. By this time I was writhing on the floor in absolute agony. I just wanted them to get me into the ambulance and taken to cardiac unit. The paramedic then had the nerve to ask me, in an abrupt manner, "Are you an alcoholic" to which I of course replied, "No" I feel very insulted by this.

Eventually I was driven to the hospital 35 minutes away, and was immediately taken in to the cath lab for emergency treatment

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Responses

Response from Jacqueline Taylor, Patient Relations Manager, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear Pilot,

We are sorry to hear of your experience but would also like to thank you for making us aware of this. We take all feedback very seriously and we would like to fully investigate and take any appropriate action necessary to make improvements to our service.

I do hope that you have now fully recovered from this incident.

Please could you contact us directly on 0345 122 0535 or patient.relations@yas.nhs.uk with your details to enable us to investigate the concerns you have raised.

Regards,

Jacqueline Taylor, Patient Relations Manager

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Update posted by Pilot (the patient)

Jaqueline,

Thank you for your prompt response. I am not complaining so that action might be taken against the person making the inappropriate remark, but rather that EMAS might consider improving it's training regime to ensure that all EMAS staff are advised on appropriate ways of conversing with patients.

Response from Jacqueline Taylor, Patient Relations Manager, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear Pilot,

Thank you for letting me know you do not wish to take this matter forward as a concern or complaint.

I would like to advise you that the Trust are embarking on a planned piece of work to improve the communication skills of our A&E Operational staff which will include building specific experiences of our patients in our staff training.

I can confirm that your experience will be included and would like to thank you once again for letting us know.

Regards,

Jacqueline Taylor

Patient Relations Manager

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