"Poor service from the ambulance service when I needed it most"

About: Arbroath Infirmary / Accident & Emergency Ninewells Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics Scottish Ambulance Service

(as the patient),

Last year I had what seemed a minor accident on a day out. I had a minor fall but knew right away I had done something. In my panic when there was no one to help me or my wife who was with me I drove the 18 or so miles home while I was in real agony. Once I got home I called for an ambulance as the pain was incredible and my leg was swollen and misshapen. On answering the call the operator told me that they would not send an ambulance as 'there were no bones sticking through the skin' and 'no free flowing blood'. I could not believe what i was hearing.

I called a taxi and had to wait for about forty minutes for it to arrive. I was taken to my local accident and emergency at the infirmary at Arbroath and immediately they saw my problem was serious and could not believe that I was refused an ambulance. I had to be carried into the taxi and brought into A&E in a wheelchair. I was then taken to Ninewells Hospital who immediately diagnosed a 'Complete Rupture of the Quadriceps Tendon' and subsequent muscle damage. I had a three hour operation and was left with about 40 staples in my leg.

I was treated very well by the hospital staff and surgeon who told me he had not seen as much damage as this in a long time and he also could not believe that an ambulance would not come for me as he said he would have thought it would have been obvious to anyone listening to me my injury was very serious.

I received no help what so ever from The Scottish Ambulance Service when I needed it. The service was very poor in my eyes. dare I say a disgrace.

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

Dear Badlyletdown

thank you for sharing your experience of care last year. I'm sorry you felt let down by the Scottish Ambulance Service when you needed help.

It would be helpful to have more information about what happened to you, so we can follow this up. If you would like to share this as a concern, may I suggest you call Linda Thomson in our Corporate Affairs Team. Linda would ask you for more details about what happened to you. We will then investigate this and get back to you to update on what we've learned, and what we will do to improve patient care. Alternatively, you might want to make a formal complaint. More information on how to do this can be found on our website at the following link http://scottishambulance.com/TheService/complaint.asp

I hope you'll be willing to talk to us again about this. In the meantime, I hope you have made a full recovery.

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