"Horrendous experience prior to seeing consultant"

About: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Having received a phonecall in Yorkshire at 1pm from my mum's care home, we travelled north. Her GP had referred her to the Northumbria a&e hospital. We were still waiting until after 10pm for an ambulance. The ambulance crew were wonderful and simply doing the call outs in the order as dictated to them. Having had basic obs and xray done immediately, we were then subjected to a wait of 4hours 30mins. As soon as the consultant gathered the history and examination was done, the care and investigations to give my mum some relief could not be faulted. Surely it was unacceptable for an 88year old woman to be subjected to a wait of at least 15 hours from a GP call out for some relief. Once the staff are on the case, they are wonderful. It's getting to that stage which is the problem.

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Response from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Sir/Madam

First of all many apologies for the late reply to your review – I did provide the following response but for whatever reason this does not appear to have been posted?

I am so sorry that your mum had to wait such a long time to receive the help she needed. It must have been very difficult to have the lengthy wait for an ambulance compounded by a 4 and a half hour wait in emergency care. You are quite right - there is no part of this that we'd want for any our patients let alone an 88 year old woman in pain. I can only offer a whole hearted apology.

The excellent paramedics you saw were undoubtedly doing their best at that they could but unfortunately demands on their service far outstrip the staff and ambulances that are available. We work very closely with the ambulance trust to understand their pressures and to work with them to mitigate as much as possible. I am sorry we failed to get this right for your Mum.

If you wish to discuss this further, with your mum’s consent, please email me at Patient.Experience@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk.

I am glad that the care that she received after her wait was of a high standard and I do hope she is doing well. I will make sure your comments get passed onto the teams who were involved in her care.

Kindest regards,


Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience