"Misinformation and patronisation from NHS Direct"

About: NHS Direct NHS Trust

(as a service user),

Whilst at a friend's house I blacked out, and when I came around I had lost some feeling in my leg and arm, as well as the sight in one of my eyes. At the suggestion of my friend I phoned NHS Direct. After explaining my symptoms, the nurse I spoke to told me to go home and take a paracetamol, and if to visit my GP in the morning if I was unable to contact a locum.

As it turned out, I had suffered from a stroke, and should have gone straight to hospital. I felt extremely let down by the poor information I'd received from this nurse at NHS Direct, which had potentially put my life in danger.

When I phoned NHS Direct back to complain about what had happened, I felt that the person that I spoke to was extremely patronising, speaking to me like I was some silly child.

When I phoned back a couple of weeks after this conversation to follow up on what was happening with my complaint, I was assured that it was being discussed, but had to request in writing assurance about what was being done about the situation.

I have since received a letter admitting fault, and advising me that the nurse in question has been sent for training. I have found this totally unsatisfactory, even annoying. We have this service that we have to rely on, but it seems that it's not working properly. I feel like this wouldn't have happened to me if the staff member had been trained properly in the first place.

I know that none of this will change what happened to me, but I don't want it to happen to anyone else. What procedures are in place to ensure this won't happen again?

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