"The paramedics were superb"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as a relative),

My Mother needed urgent attention due to breathing difficulty, the ambulance arrived very promptly. The crew members were very efficient and took all the appropriate actions to assess my Mother’s condition and give her the treatment she needed. Everything was in place and, whilst being business like, they were also empathetic. Mark and Tim, the crew members, were really superb.

The only criticism I have, and this has been noticed by my brother also, is that when you call 999 although they tell you an ambulance has been dispatched this fact does not register as you are too busy trying to keep calm with a person in distress.

By not registering that an ambulance is already on its way you continue to focus on the person in need of care and it’s harder to answer questions that the call centre staff are asking. Perhaps the call handlers could just check that this fact has registered with the caller and then proceed with the questions knowing that the caller is more engaged?

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

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Rapid289

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I hope your Mother is feeling much better now.

I am sorry to hear that you did not feel reassured by the 999 call taker. Once a 999 call is received our dispatchers work hard to make sure that an ambulance is sent to the address given. However, not all 999 calls require an ambulance to attend and as such the call taker is not prompted to inform the caller of the immediate dispatch until it is identified that an ambulance is definitely required. The call takers follow a script in order to ensure that the patient receives the most appropriate care in a timely manner, They are only prompted once, when the ambulance attendance is confirmed, to reassure the caller that our staff are on their way to you. After this they return to the questions required to ensure the patients condition is recorded and passed to the attending crew so that they are prepared to fully assist the patient on arrival. I will ensure your comments regarding reassurance are passed to the managers of our Clinical Hub (999 call centre) for their consideration.

I am glad to hear that you were happy with the care given by the ambulance crew. It is always rewarding to hear that our staff are continuing to provide excellent care to our patients when they need us most.

I would like to pass your kind comments onto the ambulance crew who came to your mothers aid. Would you be able to contact me, laura.martin@swast.nhs.uk or call 01392 453831, at your convenience, with the date and address that the ambulance attended? This would allow me to identify the staff involved and ensure they are recognised for the care they gave.

If you would like to discuss your concerns regarding the reassurance by the 999 call taker further, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Experience team on 01392 261585 who will be happy to look into this further.

Thank you again for providing feedback on our service.

Kind regards


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