"Fantastic rehab care at Mount Gould, but ambulance is often late"

About: Livewell South West South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service (PTS)

(as a relative),

I bring my sister to Mount Gould three times a week for rehab care after her stroke. The staff are fantastic! The unit is lovely and they do a great job.

The problem is getting there. We are picked up from my sister’s care home by the ambulance service, but they are always late – every single time, and it has an impact on her appointment times. The last time, they were 30 minutes late, so my sister only had 15 minutes therapy time, rather than the 45 minutes she was supposed to have. The booking system doesn’t account for these delays and they are bad for her recovery.

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Responses

Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association

Dear Gold745

We saw your post about your sister’s stroke and the rehabilitation she is receiving. It is really positive to hear that the staff at Mount Gold hospital are helpful, but it sounds as if you are unhappy about the delays with the ambulance service getting her to these appointments. It must be really frustrating for you both to know that she is not receiving as much rehabilitation therapy as she could be. I hope that I can provide some information about how you might be able to resolve this problem, as well as some information about the Stroke Association and the other ways in which we might be able to help you and your sister.

It might be helpful to speak to the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) about the ambulance service being consistently late. PALS provide confidential support and help to resolve problems and concerns with the health service. In addition, they can provide information on complaints procedures. It is really important to raise your concerns to the NHS so that they can improve their services and resolve problems. The contact details for your local PALS office are as below:

PALS NHS Plymouth

Telephone: 08451558121

Email: pals.pct@plymouth.nhs.uk

PALS are part of the NHS, but if you wished to complain with the assistance of an independent body you could contact ICAS, an advocacy service for people who wish to make a complaint about health and social care.

http://www.carersfederation.co.uk/icas/

If the problem is not resolved, you might also want to look into accessing the community transport provided by Plymouth City Council. This is available to take people to appointments. Further information is available on the webpage below:

http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/transportandroads/publictransport/accessplymouth.htm

At the Stroke Association we have support workers across the UK, providing information, advice and support to people affected by stroke. Our services are funded by PCTs or social services and we receive referrals from hospitals, social services, friends and family and self-referrals; this helps us to support people affected by stroke from the moment of diagnosis. Please contact our helpline if you think this service may be beneficial for your sister. Sadly, not all areas provide funding for these services so we also campaign to raise awareness about stroke, demonstrating the need for our services, and encourage people to understand more about the long term effects of stroke.

Our current campaigns include the Life after Stroke campaign, which challenges some of the barriers to recovery, such as social care, benefits, NHS care and rehabilitation. We are also involved in campaigns against cuts to benefits and services, and we produce Stroke Care Reports which highlight positive and negative aspects of local stroke services. You may wish to join our campaign - this can be done on our website:

http://www.stroke.org.uk/campaigns/the_campaigners_network/index.html

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. Please note you can download our full range of leaflets and factsheets free of charge from our website http://www.stroke.org.uk

Yours sincerely

Stroke Information Service

info@stroke.org.uk

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