"Waiting times"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Accident and emergency Medway Maritime Hospital / Urology South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service

(as a relative),

My Brother was taken by ambulance from his care home in December. He had a blockage with his super pubic catheter, which the DN could not deal with, as she thought skin had grown over the end of it, making it impossible for her to remove and replace, without causing possible damage to him, this was around teatime 5pm, he arrived at Medway around 9.45pm.

I received a call from the home to say he was being sent there and would I be able to go and be with him, as he gets confused, I agreed and arrived at 10pm.

He was in his wheelchair in the A and E dept. By then he was very tired and confused, we then waited for another 2. 30 mins before we saw a doctor, she had a look at the problem and decided that urology team should be called, as she could not get the catheter out without causing a lot of bleeding. The team came within about 15 mins, they said he may have to have a cut made as membrane seemed to be causing the problem. The main urologist inserted some gel and he then twisted the end to release the catheter, which did cause a bit of bleeding around the exit wound, a new one was inserted and they said he was ok, as all was flowing again.

I asked if they were going to clean him up, as there was a fair amount of blood seeping out, they said they would send someone along! . it never happened and I myself cleaned him up, as it was beginning to drip onto his gown etc. We were then asked how he was getting home, I said he came by ambulance and he needed to go back the same way, as he cannot walk un aided, plus he had no clothes on only a dressing gown which was damp due to the leaking catheter, which back washed over him. another 20 mins went by then a nurse said move him to the obs ward, they will arrange fro the ambulance, I went with him, by then it was around 1. 30am, I was told the ambulance would be 2-6 hours..I asked why so long when all the ambulances were on site. I was told that the hospital has to use contract ambulances and they were busy. I was not happy with this, I offered to take him back to Leysdown by car, but it meant him getting out into the cold, I didn't want him to catch pneumonia as well. Plus I was very tired and I couldn't have managed him on my own.

The staff on the obs ward were very good. again I asked for him to be cleaned as the wound was still weeping blood, eventually he was and it was then 3am. both myself and the male nurse helped my brother into his wheelchair, as it was going to be easier for him to be transported, by then he was very tired, the ambulance eventually came at 3. 30am. the care home were willing to accept him at this time, as he was expected, he arrived back at 4am. I think that this is terrible to send someone back at that time, He was unwell all the next day and the nurse was called as the catheter was blocked again, this time she flushed it through and it seems ok at the moment. Whilst I was waiting with him in Aand E, not one person used to the hygiene hand spray, the doctors didn't either! .

The receptionist was coughing and sneezing, I thought this was awful, as all germs must have been spreading about like crazy. Surely something can be done about this? I hope that the ambulance service gets sorted out, as the contract ambulance drivers were run off their feet!

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Response from Louise Hutchinson, Patient Experience Lead, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Dear goldenhair

Thank you very much for taking the time to feed back about your and your brother's recent experience with the NHS, which we always find helpful. I see from your post that you had to wait a long time for an ambulance to take your brother back home, which I'm sure must have been very tiring for you both at that time of the morning. However I just wanted to let you know that South East Coast Ambulance Service does not provide routine ambulance transport in Kent, just the emergency service, which I hope met your expectations. Routine ambulance transport in Kent is, as you rightly say, run by a private company, who were commissioned by the Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups following a tendering process.

I hope this information is helpful but please do contact me at louise.hutchinson@secamb.nhs.uk if you have any questions or queries.

I do hope your brother is recovering well from this episode and wish you both a happy 2015.

Yours sincerely, Louise Hutchinson

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to offer us your feedback.

Please accept our apologies if you felt the experience for yout brother fell short of your expectations.

I have passed on your comments to ED so that they can review the comments and make improvements where they feel necessary.

If you would like to discuss further then please contact the team below:


The Patient Experience Team

01634 825004

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