"The NHS won't treat my severely disabled son"

About: East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Norfolk PCT

(as a carer),

I am the carer of a severely disabled young man with complex multiple disabilities. My son's physical disabilities cause him to fall and he is now unable to walk.

In 2007 my son had a serious fall which caused him to dislocate his shoulder, his hip and his knee. I tried to call an ambulance and was told that because its part of his pre-existing condition it was not an emergency and I had to contact his GP.

I rang the GP and they refused to speak to me. They said that to speak to me, as his registered carer, would be a breach of the data protection act. My son has autism in addition to his physical disabilities and it was not possible for him to call himself.

I tried for three weeks to get a doctor to attend. I finally met with the practice manager and after I was reduced to tears, they falsely accused me of being a "violent and aggressive" patient which has now been set permanently on both my son's and my record with no opportunity for redress. He was never treated for that injury and so now has lost the use of his left arm.

The same thing happened again in 2009. I tried again to get him help, and again the Drs refused to attend despite the ambulance crew calling the doctors for two hours. Now the doctors surgery refuses to treat my son or myself. Apparently this is perfectly legal.

My son fell again two weeks ago and had a suspected fractured hip. The ambulance crew felt that it was sufficiently serious to warrant medical assessment and this time he was taken to the local hospital. This time the hospital refused to treat my son.

He had to endure six hours lying on a trolley and the nurses caring for him refused to give him pain medication, and the doctors to assess him. They wouldn't even take his obs or register him - he was just left as if he was a slab of meat.

After those six hours the doctor discharged him with no treatment, as he said that because my son has no GP they can't treat him!

We are normal British citizens, we are not foreign to this country and yet we are both now being denied access to medical care. I have tried everything I can to resolve this situation to no avail. I can't get a solicitor to fight this, as no solicitor will take this on. I don't want to have to fight through the courts just to be able to access the GP.

In my experience there is no adequate care for severely disabled people, and the treatment of carers like myself by some GPs in Norfolk has been frankly appalling.

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Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

If you are having difficulty accessing GP care, you may want to talk to to Clinical Commissioning Group for your area. For more information, call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS): 0800 088 4449.

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Response from East Of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

I am sorry to hear that you have had cause to raise concerns about the ambulance service. I would be grateful if you could contact us to discuss this further by ringing 0800 028 3382 or emailing eoeasnt.complaints@nhs.net. Alternatively you can write to us at EEAST, Bedford Locality Office, Hammond Road, Bedford, MK41 0RG.

Kind regards,

Emma Sears

Complaints Manager