"Turned down for an ambulence"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

One night my husband needed an ambulance as his catheter that he had fitted the day before at Exeter Hospital had I thought come out. It had in fact become blocked as I was to find out later. The operation he had was for prostrate cancer. I knew it was vital that the catheter was working or it could have a devastating effect on the operation. My husband was very distressed as was I. Urine was seeping out and he was in pain. The operator who took my call informed me that it was a job for my gp and they offered to inform the out of hours to get a doctor to phone me. It was around midnight. We do not have transport. My husband is 71 and had major surgery the day before. I desperately needed to get him to Barnstaple hospital. I explained all this to the operator.

I managed to get a friend out of their bed and we ended up getting him there and had to join the queue in A and E. He was in his pyjamas with urine leeking everywhere. A towel wrapped round him.

We finally got seen by a lovely staff nurse who called a surgeon down to see my husband who then admitted him.

I would have thought the operator would have been able to get us an ambulance given what I told them during my call.

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

Good Afternoon dignityisimportant

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I hope your husband is recovering well.

I can understand your frustration that an ambulance was not sent to you. We would welcome the opportunity to look into this matter in some detail. However, in order to do this we will need some specific information from you regarding the call you placed to our service and personal contact details for you and your husband. Please could I ask you to contact our Patient Experience Team on either SWAST.patientexperience.nhs.uk or call 01392 261 585 and one of the team will be very happy to take this information from you.

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


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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