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"A summary of my NHS Tayside experiences in 2018"

About: Dudhope Young People's Unit General practices in Tayside Murray Royal Hospital / General Psychiatry Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency Ninewells Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics Perth Royal Infirmary / General Medicine Perth Royal Infirmary / Gynaecology Perth Royal Infirmary / Ophthalmology Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance Tayside Community Services / Community Mental Health

(as other),

A summary of my NHS experiences in 2018.

Posting as a patient and a parent.

Have no desire to be referred to as a "service user "!
- A&E Ninewells Dundee: 3 visits with rugby playing sons. Ignored by 2 ambulance drivers when I had to deposit my 6'2" seriously concussed son slumped on the grass outside the entrance to A&E so I could park the car and pay(!!!!). He was unable to walk far. He was in rugby kit so obviously not drunk or on drugs. However, another driver saw us, got a wheelchair, and took over, getting us seen promptly. Prompt, efficient and compassionate care. A touch of common sense as doctor elected to run a CT already scheduled for the next day in order to make best use of time/equipment. 5*
- Perth Royal Infirmary Eye Clinic: attending with a teenager in the midst of "Macular Degeneration " day was informative. However, efficient despite being busy and apparently relying on bank nurses. Particularly appreciated watching the patience staff showed towards elderly patients who were slow on their feet. Enjoyed listening to a nurse take time chatting to an elderly lady who had also been a nurse, and worked in PRI. These interactions are what makes healthcare work. 5*
- Orthopaedic referral Ninewells Dundee. Incredibly thorough and personable Trainee Surgeon (meant to check her name but forgot). Listened to my thoughts and explained her own very confidently and compassionately. First class with all the hallmarks of becoming an excellent consultant in future.  5*
- MRI Unit Perth Royal Infirmary: Friendly and professional, despite me having forgotten my appointment and racing in late. 5*
- Tayside Ambulance Service: called out by rugby club on a freezing cold night to my teenage son with a suspected neck injury. Despite repeated calls from myself and concerned coaches, it was almost 2 hours before an ambulance arrived. By this point we were becoming more concerned about hypothermia as he lay flat on a frozen pitch as no-one wanted to move him. One of the team that arrived was wearing wellies and was very unprofessional/did not seem trained. The stretcher was not extended enough to take my 6' plus son. I had to point this out. A stressful experience for all involved. No advice given on any of our calls about keeping my son still or warm. Thankfully, Bells Sport Centre staff rose to the challenge and brought out thermal blankets. Thankfully, I have medical knowledge sp could advise ref the importance of keeping his neck immobile. His coaches are also trained for this. This meant his coach lying on his front in freezing mud keeping my son's head/neck still until the ambulance eventually arrived. 1*
- CAMHS Perth. A mix of well-qualified clinicians doing a hard job whilst being limited by resources and letting children, adolescents, and parents down by poor communication and an apparent lack of compassion.
Poor administration practices. Management seems non-existent, parents feel like a hindrance, and there is very little proactive support for families. Saying that, very positive about some individual clinicians. 3*
- Gynaecology, Perth Royal Infirmary. Consummately professional and empathetic receptionist/nurses/consultant. Made me feel comfortable and relaxed despite the required procedure's unpleasantness. Thoroughly lovely department. 5*
- GP Orwell Practice, Loch Leven Health Centre, Kinross: Excellent care, good communication and a positive mix of pragmatism and compassion. 5*
- Perth Adult Psychological Therapies Service: Quick referral, professional, insightful and compassionate clinician. Calming and pleasant environment (Murray Royal). Too early to pass full judgment so 4*
Summary for NHS Tayside - 4*
Let down by Ambulance Service and CAMHS. More by lack of resources than individuals working to do their best I believe. Somany compassionate, efficient and clinically astute professionals. A shout out also to reception and ancillary staff I have encountered. Most, not all, are polite, friendly and efficient. 


Response from Alan Martin, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service 2 years ago
Alan Martin
Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement,
Scottish Ambulance Service
Submitted on 16/01/2019 at 07:44
Published on Care Opinion at 10:19

picture of Alan Martin

Dear TM68,

Many thanks for taking the time to share your feedback on CareOpinion about all of the various services you have encountered. I am very disappointed to read that you summarise your experiences with NHS Tayside as being let down by the Ambulance Service.

You have mentioned various aspects about your encounters with the Scottish Ambulance Service and I would like to have them looked into for you and if there is any learning we can take from this then we will certainly be looking to do so.

May I ask that you email me at and we can discuss further.

I hope your sons are fully recovered and I wish you all the very best.

Kind Regards


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Response from Pat O'Meara, General Manager, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service 2 years ago
Pat O'Meara
General Manager, Ambulance Control Centres,
Scottish Ambulance Service

I look after our three ambulance control centres, making sure that all calls are answered as quickly as possible, that pre-arrival advice is given when needed and that ambulances and other resources are sent quickly.

Submitted on 16/01/2019 at 07:49
Published on Care Opinion at 10:19

Dear TM68,

I was very sorry to read about your son's experience when he was injured playing rugby. We do prioritise calls and take in to account those where someone is outside and exposed to the elements. It must have been very distressing for you and your son to have to wait for so long for an ambulance.

I'd like to look at this call to fully understand what happened. If you want to, please call me on 0141 810 6101 so that I am able to get the call details and also to explain to you how we managed the 999 call that was made.

I hope that your son has fully recovered from his injury.


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Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside 2 years ago
Alison Moss
Feedback Manager,
NHS Tayside
Submitted on 01/02/2019 at 14:39
Published on Care Opinion at 14:44

Dear TM68

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences via Care Opinion. I am pleased to note your positive comments regarding the care you and your family have received from NHS Tayside but recognise that there are areas where we could improve.

We welcome all feedback, both positive and negative, and your experience has been shared with staff within the different services.

With regards to your experience with the CAMHS service in Perth, Ms Caldwell (Service Manager) would wish to apologise that this has not been up to the standard expected. She would welcome the opportunity to discuss your feedback personally to enable her to listen to your concerns and take action to improve the service provided. If you would be happy to do so, please contact Ms Caldwell either by telephone to 01382 204004 or 07751142360 or via email to

Thank you again for your helpful feedback.


Alison Moss

Complaints and Feedback Team Lead

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Update posted by TM68 (other)

Useful meeting with CAMHS management. Felt my concerns were listened to and taken on board. Some issues appear to be being addressed and improvements are ongoing. Possibly too late to make a difference to our family, but if they are implemented as planned, should improve the service greatly. Thank you for your time.

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