"Outstanding and Unpleasant care within 24hrs"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as the patient),

Over the period of a week this April I had an acute mystery illness that required the need to make contact with the NHS many times in a variety of ways, ranging from speaking with my own GP to making two 999 calls.

My experience of using all these services varied very dramatically over that time.

I feel there is too much to say about this overall, but feel the need to share my experience of 2 of two specific events here..

Having already endured two nights of distressing pain, on the 3rd night I dialed 999..

At this point my pain was still severe, but I can honestly say that I do not recall it now due to the exceptional bedside manner of the ambulance crew who arrived so swiftly to my aid!

Due to my being home alone, all 3 crew attending worked hard to ensure I had everything I needed to take with me, and be able to leave my home safe and secure for my journey in the ambulance to Bath RUH.

Once in the ambulance, the two remaining crew with me were exceptional. They worked very well together to keep my mind off the pain until they could begin treating me. ....and once on the move, my wonderful anonymous hero continued to treat me so conscientiously with such incredible personal attention, that he managed to keep me at ease before I had even told him I have a hospital phobia!

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all involved that night, for such patience and sympathetic understanding of my situation at the time. I especially wish to personally praise, congratulate, commend and send my heartfelt thanks the two ambulance crew (especially tho one who looked after me for the journey to bath) who exceeded my expectations with their care and consideration for me in my time of need. From the minute they arrived, the minute they left my side, they helped keep me at ease, pain free and dispersed every ounce of my distress. THANK YOU!

To this day I do not even know their names, (as I was rather distracted with pain and distress at the point of introduction! ) I would greatly appreciate this information as it would be lovely to put names to my experience..

I am a little embarrassed at this sounding rather over the top and gushing, but I feel the need to say what I have not only because they were lovely, but also due to having had a rather opposite experience 24 hrs later when my pain and distress returned for the 4th night in a row.

Having had such a calm and comforting experience on the Thursday, I felt almost too guilty to call 999 again the next night, so I made the big mistake of trying to use an out of hours doctor again instead... (The 1st one who attended on Wed night was also very good) This one was a very distressing experience, which in fact it didn't work at all and my pain (and distress level even more so) escalated to the point which required another 999 call. I feel that maybe the 1st wonderful crew did this 2nd crew a major disservice by being too good, especially as they had already set a precedence before the next had even arrived...but in general comparison to the night before, I had a very distressing experience in which this time I felt like a 'bag of meat'! I feel rather uneasy explaining in detail what happened, but I can say for certain that from when they arrived, to when they left my side, I was in no way personally looked after in the thoughtful and conscientious way that the wonderful crew who attended 24 hrs previous had managed to do.

The point I wish to make is that in direct comparison to the incredibly unpleasant night I had 24 hrs later, the crew who attended my home on the Thursday night were positively WONDERFUL and I cannot believe that two separate ambulance crews could be so dramatically different two nights in a row! !

Having had the very awful, and completely opposite experience with the crew who attended on the Friday, it has simply overwhelmed me to write this and confirm how exceptional I feel my anonymous heroes really were!

Thank you again.....whoever you are!

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Hello SuziL

Thank you for sharing your story - I hope you are feeling better now after what was a very difficult few days.

It is very reassuring to hear that our staff are continuing to deliver excellent service to patients when they need it most. However, your story has given us an interesting perspective that clearly demonstrates that we can always improve on our service. I want to thank you for that and wonder if I could ask you to contact me on 01392 261 552 or sara.coburn@swast.nhs.uk please as I would like to explore your experience further with the aim to developing some educational tools for our staff.

Further to this I can take some more details from you that will enable me to ensure that your comments are given directly to the staff you wish to express your gratitude to.

Thank you again


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