"Ambulance would not take me to my appointment "

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

(as the patient),

I have just been discharged with am abscess in my left lung. I was to attend a follow up appointment at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. I use a wheel chair and live alone so the ambulance service comes to pick me up for my appointment.

On this occasion two women came to collect me but they refused to take onto the ambulance because I only had one viable foot rest on my wheel chair. The other is currently broken and a waiting repair. This is beyond my control and I have to wait until someone can fix the foot rest for me.

I have no other way to get to the hospital other than via the ambulance service and subsequently missed my appointment.

I have been on the ambulance on numerous occasion without foot rests at all. I do not need them and this has never been an issue before.

I believe that the issue of the foot rests was raised because the crew had to wait at my door for 5 minutes before I could come out (my clearer was there and had to move some things around before I could get out in my electric wheel chair). When I was able to open the door one of them asked me where my foot rest was. I said it was damaged but it wasn’t a problem for me. They made quite a big issue about it and went to call their manager who apparently said they were not to take me to appointment without two foot rests. Previous crews have not batted an eyelid. I only need the wheelchair. Not the foot rests.

Another issue that comes up a lot is I am asked to produce my seat belt exemption certificate each time I use the ambulance, even when they know I have one before they arrive as it is logged on their system. I do not want to repeatedly go through my paperwork to show I certificate the service already knows I possess.

I want both of these issues addressing.

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Response from Laura Martin, Patient Engagement Administrator, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Ash315

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am sorry to hear that you missed your hospital appointment.

We would like to look into what happened on this occassion for you. 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.

Kind Regards


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