"My partner had to wait four hours for an ambulance"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service (PTS)

(as a carer),

My partner was due to be picked up by the ambulance service at 8: 45am. His appointment was at 10: 30am, and he was finished by 11am.

He arrived home at 3: 15pm. He was waiting for four hours in the waiting area for the ambulance. My partner is in a wheelchair. He has had an amputation and suffered a stroke, and waiting this long causes stress. He is 74 years old.

You attend the ward to get better, but adding in a stressful wait does not help. This has happened before; the first time, he couldn’t eat his tea as he was shaking so much and I had to help him.

One of the ambulance crew told me that the service is getting rid of staff, but getting more work. This just doesn’t make sense and causes problems.

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

Hi Dozer966

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that your partner is feeling well.

Our Patient Transport Service is a predominately pre-planned service; we work to a schedule that has been planned out the previous day. As we don’t operate like a taxi service we cannot send a vehicle out as soon as a patient is ready, we must abide to the times provided to us by the hospital. Naturally there are times when our crews are delayed; problems with congestion, departments over running earlier in the day or vehicle breakdowns can all cause delays. However, we will always aim to get patients home as soon as possible.

I hope this explanation provides some information on how our Patient Transport Service works. However, if you would like further information as to what happened on this occassion please contact our Patient Experience Team by email, patientexperience@swast.nhs.uk, or phone, 01392 261 585, and a member of the team will be very pleased to help you.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to provide feedback.



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