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"Still waiting for call"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Acute Medical Initial Assessment Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Geriatric Assessment NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service) Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as a relative),

Over the course of a week my Dad became agitated and heightened in his behaviour and increasing anxious. My Mum called their local surgery and he was given an appointment to see a Doctor and Nurse Practitioner. He was told he had a lung infection and was given a course of antibiotics.

By Saturday morning he had not improved and was becoming increasingly erratic in behaviour, confused and extremely anxious including becoming convinced that there was a gas leak and the street should be evacuated.

My Mum who by nature doesn’t want to bother anyone decided to call 111 at approximately 15:30. She waited in a queue for over 30 minutes. When the call was answered the person on the phone was so concerned by what they were hearing in the background they said they were calling for an Ambulance and Police to attend the home.

At this point my Mum described my Dad as going berserk, she locked all the doors of the house to stop him going outside, he then proceeded to go upstairs an try to climb out a bedroom window and was threatening to break all the windows and was shouting help so loudly neighbour’s from all around gathered to see what the commotion was. A neighbour came in and tried to help my mother calm my father down.

At approximately 17:00 two police officers arrived and sat with my Mum to protect her and keep an eye on my Dad. They sat for 3 hours, 2 hours past the end of their shift. They were relieved by another two officers who then sat with my parents until the Ambulance crew arrived at 22:00.

The Ambulance crew decided that a GP should be called to assess my Dad and then sat with my parents until the GP arrived between midnight and 01:00 (Sunday) he told the Ambulance crew they could go.

The GP then assessed my Dad and decided that he should go to hospital and called for an Ambulance which he was told would be within 2 hours. He left, My parents next door neighbour then came in and sat with my Mum until my Dad eventually tired himself out and fell asleep. My Mum than sat in silence frightened to move or go to sleep in case she missed the Ambulance or my Dad woke up.

The Ambulance then arrived at 11:00 and took my Dad in to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

I arrived from Orkney at 18:00 and took my Mum into the hospital to visit my Dad in Ward 101. He was very confused but recognised us.

A very nice nurse apologised to my Mum for everything that had happened to them.

Another nurse informed us that they didn’t know what was causing my Dads’ confusion and he didn’t have any infection, a chest x-ray was clear as was his bloods.

We were told he would be moved to Ward 102.

Monday morning we tried to call ward 102 to get an update on his condition and check when to visit. When we eventually got through we were told we couldn’t visit until his Covid test was back and they had no idea when that would be, call later.

I had to leave Aberdeen to drive 6 hours to catch a ferry home to try and make arrangements to be able to travel back to Aberdeen for an extended visit.

I called my Mum to find out how things were but friends had called round so I called her back when I got off the ferry.

She informed me that she had tried calling Ward 102 for 90 minutes to find out if it was safe for her to visit.

She gave up and decided just to head to the hospital.

On arrival she was admitted after being questioned as to why she hadn’t made an appointment.

When she down beside my Father a Doctor joined them and in front of my Father told my my Mother he was being discharged to her care that afternoon as there was nothing they could do for him, they didn’t have room for him and he would probably get on better at home and be less anxious.

She was told that his infection was showing signs of clearing up. Yes that’s the infection that Ward 101 said didn’t exist.

My Mother then had to tell the Doctor in front of my Father why she didn’t want to take him, that she didn’t feel safe with him in the house and had to explain to the Doctor what had happened over the previous 48 hours. He said he would talk to his supervisor and they would give my Mother a call.

Still waiting…….

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Response from Lesley Kay, Patient Experience Team Leader, Corporate Affairs, Scottish Ambulance Service 3 months ago
Lesley Kay
Patient Experience Team Leader, Corporate Affairs,
Scottish Ambulance Service
Submitted on 25/03/2022 at 08:41
Published on Care Opinion at 08:41

Dear Mulac

Thank you for your Feedback. I am very sorry to read about the experience you have described and can't imagine how worrying and stressful the situation must have been for you all.

Please may I kindly ask you contact our team at with your dad's name and address and the date when calls were made for an ambulance for him and I will look into why there was the delays in reaching your dad.

I hope your dad is feeling a lot better soon and hope he can get home when well enough

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind Regards


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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Experience Manager, NHS 24 3 months ago
Shona Lawrence
Patient Experience Manager,
NHS 24
Submitted on 25/03/2022 at 10:06
Published on Care Opinion at 10:06

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Mulac

Thank you for sharing your story via Care Opinion and for being so open and candid. I can only imagine what an absolute ordeal this has been for you all and I am very sorry to learn of this. I appreciate, for your Mother, this has been especially challenging.

I understand you have been in direct contact with NHS Grampian regarding this as they have today asked us for some detail concerning the contact with NHS 24. In such cases, where patient care spans more than one Health Board, we always try to work together to avoid you having to deal with separate Health Boards.

However, if you feel there is any element of the NHS 24 contact which you want us to look at specifically, please don't hesitate to contact me on 07814 299944 or by email at

I hope the situation improves soon and I extend my best wishes to you all.

Kind regards


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Response from Elaine Brooks, Senior Charge Nurse, Short Stay Medicine, Unscheduled Care, NHS Grampian 3 months ago
Elaine Brooks
Senior Charge Nurse, Short Stay Medicine, Unscheduled Care,
NHS Grampian
Submitted on 25/03/2022 at 10:11
Published on Care Opinion at 10:43

Good Morning

Thank you for your feedback.

I am sorry to hear about your experience and I hope your Dad is feeling a better.

I am the Senior Charge Nurse in 101, and the Senior Staff Nurse on duty had reported this to me on Monday morning as well as completing the necessary documentation, which I have forwarded to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Thank you for your kind feedback regarding the Nurse in 101, I will ensure this is passed on to her.

I can also look into your concern regarding your father's diagnosis, if you wish to contact me on my details below, I am happy to discuss.

If you require any further support, please do not hesitate to contact me



Tel No 01224 559049

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