"Concerns about access from the Scottish Ambulance Transport Service."

About: Scottish Ambulance Service

(as the patient),

I telephoned this morning to request transport to Raigmore Hospital from Kyle, After answering that a) yes I am disabled and unable to use public transport

b) I live alone and have no other transport

c) I requested transport and gave my clinic and appointment time of 3.00pm,

I hadn't realised that apparently there is cut off time for appointments. I was informed that an appointment at that time did not allow the driver to be back by 5.00pm!! I have re-arranged my appointment - yet again, My last appointment was scheduled for the same clinic but for 9.45am - rather early to get to from Kyle!!,

My concern is that neither I nor the operative to whom I spoke has a true idea of the state of my health - I do know that some 6-7 weeks has elapsed since my first appointment. I feel considerably less well than I did 6-7 weeks ago, and that the way I was spoken to this morning was not the way an elderly person should be spoken to (or indeed any person.) and that an operative in any of the "caring" services should not be able to reduce a person to tears as I was this morning,

My concerns are that if all rural patients have a time constraint surrounding their appointment times to fit into driver duty time reducing the hours when such appointments can be accepted can only increase the waiting time for such appointments. The number of appointment times available is therefore by logic severely curtailed and thus the waiting list will grow. My other concern is that having read the Scottish ambulance aims on their website I suspect that their question dialogue is limited in scope although it may have been my misfortune this morning (although I did also have the misfortune to speak to the same operative the last I arranged transport and she has not improved!! - maybe she always has bad days)

I will also avail myself of the opportunity to let the ambulance patient service know of my experiences as invited on their own website

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Thank you for letting us know that we let you down. I am really sorry that we haven't been as helpful as we could have been and have caused you distress.

You raise a number of issues in your description of our communications with you. I have shared your experience with the team in our North Division, who are managing our Patient Transport Service Improvement programme. They will be looking into this over the next couple of days, to see how we can learn from this.

I will follow up by sharing more detailed feedback about your experience of care from us today on the Patient Opinion website. In addiiton, if it woud be helpful., I would be very happy to arrange for someone from the PTS Improvement Team to call you, to make sure we've fully understood the issues you raise, and to answer any questions you would like to ask. If you would like me to arrange for someone to contact you directly, please call me at our National Headquarters. We recently moved to new premises, which means there is a new telephone number for our HQ Reception. This is 0131 314 0000.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Hello again.

I understand that you have now shared your concern directly with our Corporate Affairs Department. This means we will be able to let you know directly about the process we followed for looking into how we managed your calls to us , and what steps we will take in response to this. I believe the process is well underway, and that we will be in touch with you shortly.

Again, I am extremely sorry we caused you distress, and really appreciate that you brought your experience to our attention.

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