"Do they really want to hear from us?"

About: Causeway Hospital / Accident & Emergency Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

(as a relative),

Ambulance called out to Care Home, Father admitted to Causeway Hospital. On arrival ambulance staff got the third degree ..Why were they in the COVID side of hospital ..... receptionist sent them there. They were told to get out should never have been allowed in even though the paramedic had on his notes possible COVID case.

Took in through A&E was told no relatives allowed Dad really confused wanted me to stay with him. I was told to wait and someone would come out to me to tell me what was going on. No one came had to go in to check on things. Told again to wait. I could see Dad was distressed. Eventually, a nurse shouted out to us that one of us could go in so my brother went in. He came out to let my sister in as Dad was asking for her. She was only in the door when she was told no running in and out and only one member of family allowed in. Staff had no compassion at all for my Daddy nor my family. We were brought up...  Manners cost nothing and I think someone should give the Causeway Staff a course on this. I write this as there is a huge notice board in the waiting room saying

Your Opinion Matters
We Want to Hear from You
Share Your Story Online

So I have...

I don't think our opinion matters at all. Do they really want to hear from us?

More about:


Response from Claire Edgar, Patient Experience Facilitator, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service 3 weeks ago
Claire Edgar
Patient Experience Facilitator,
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
Submitted on 08/09/2020 at 14:52
Published on Care Opinion at 15:41

picture of Claire Edgar

Dear Penny Lane

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience, or in other words 'your story' especially following what must have been an emotional time for you all.

Care Opinion was launched in Northern Ireland on the 3rd of August this year and its already proving a great way for the people who use our services to let us know their thoughts, good, bad and indifferent and I can assure you on behalf of NIAS we will always want you and others to speak up and we will always listen.

Regarding the Ambulance Crew and Paramedics I will pass your comments over to our Compliments/Complaints Manager Amanda Sweetlove as from an operational point of view we always welcome the opportunity to have a chat about what happened even if you don't wish to right away.

If you do wish to have this chat then please email careopinion.admin@nias.hscni.net but in the meantime I hope your father makes a full recovery.

Best wishes


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Response from Natalie McLaughlin, Assistant Clinical Services Manager - Emergency Medicine, Minor Injuries Unit, Northern Health and Social Care Trust 2 weeks ago
Natalie McLaughlin
Assistant Clinical Services Manager - Emergency Medicine, Minor Injuries Unit,
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Submitted on 09/09/2020 at 17:14
Published on Care Opinion on 10/09/2020 at 10:09

My name is Natalie and I am the Assistant Clinical Services Manager of the ED.

I would like to apologise to both you and your family for the poor experience you have described in your feedback. During Covid, our department has changed how we manage our patients, and on occasions this may cause some ambiguity, although we have been working hard to ensure all teams are aware of the processes. Our visiting policy changed for both patients and relatives safety, and to reduce risk of transmission to our most vulnerable.

I see from your feedback that your areas of concern were lack of communication and lack of compassion shown. The department can be extremely busy, and staff are dealing with emergencies and critically unwell patients, but our aim is always for patients, and their families to feel supported, listened to, and treated with dignity and respect. I am sorry this was not the case for you, your father and your siblings, at what must have been a worrying time.

I will be sharing your experience with our staff and highlighting the lack of adherence to the HSC Values that underpin our standards of care. We will share your story at our morning safety briefing and at our monthly Governance meeting. This will enable staff to reflect and learn. We do not always get it right, and it is important that patients and family members are able to let us know when things went well and where we can improve.

My sincere apologies again.


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