"I was kept waiting for 5 hours for an ambulance "

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I was kept waiting for 5 hours for an ambulance to take me back home.

I was taken to the South Bristol Community Hospital at 9. 20 in the morning as arranged by the Bristol eye Hospital. This was fine, and the hospital then contacted the ambulance service to let them know that I was ready to be collected and returned home. This was at 11. 00.

The ambulance crew cam to collect me at around 4. 00 in the afternoon and I did not get home till 6. 40 that evening.

It was dreadful. The crew said they did not get my pick up details until the afternoon between 2. 30 and 3. 00.

It was a good job I had taken sandwiches with me as I am diabetic.

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Hi Raccoon854

Thank you for taking the time to share your story.I am very sorry to hear about your delay in waiting for transport.

Our non-emergency ambulance service is predominantly a 'pre-planned' service, that is to say that plan all the journies 24 hours before they take place. This is to ensure that we utilise our transport as efficiently as possible and that everyone gets transport that is suitable for their care needs and their mobility.

Without specific information it is difficult to comment fully on what happened on this occassion, however it is likely that your transport had to be booked or re-booked on the day in question. This may have been because of a delay in the clinic that meant you were ready to go home at a later time than your homeward transport was booked for. Or it could have been because the clinic weren’t able to book the return transport in advance because they didn’t know how long you would be in the department (most clinics are able to book their patient’s transport with a known return time based on how long they expect them to be in hospital).

As a predominately pre-planned service, any re-bookings or 'on-the-day' bookings have to be fitted in to our already organised schedule. Our contractual obligations for these types of bookings are to pick patients up within 4 hours and 45 minutes of receiving the request but of course we try to arrange transport as early as we can.

I hope this explanation goes some way to giving you an understanding of what may have happened. However, if you would like us to look into the specific events surrounding your transport on this day please contact our Patient Experience team on 01392 261 585 and we will be very pleased to investigate this for you.

Thank you, again, for providing feedback.


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