"Hurtful attitude"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Paediatrics Scottish Ambulance Service

(as a parent/guardian),

I attended Crosshouse Hospital recently with my 24 month old daughter.

We had difficulty getting parked, despite arriving early as there is ongoing construction work (I appreciate this happens and is beyond control) so were running late for our appointment to get her bloods taken, see a Doctor and get her weekly injection.

I was rushing to get to the ward, pushing the buggy with my daughter in and struggling to balance a full sharps bin, which the ward staff were going to dispose of for me. As I reached the corridor leading to the pediatric wing, I was behind two ambulance staff, pushing an empty trolley/bed. They were chatting and moving slowly, so I overtook them.

As I reached the lifts I was grateful to see that there was one waiting, and there was someone in it with a porter's chair who kindly held the doors for me.

I nipped in, as did another person with a buggy and child. At this point, I heard one of the ambulance staff complaining loudly that they thought there was a queuing system for the lifts - but clearly not. They continued to complain loudly about the rudeness of some people - at which point, I began to realise that she was referring to me. I looked up and they continued to complain about my rudeness, whilst staring at me. The lift doors began to close and we went to my daughter's appointment.

I am really shocked that a member of staff could show such a lack of empathy for patients and carers, especially given that it must have been evident that I was (a) taking a very young child to a hospital visit and (b) already very stressed by the situation. The incident did really upset me - & I am lucky enough to have people around me who I was able to talk through the incident with later. Others may not. Given the NHS Ayrshire & Arran tagline of Safe, Caring Respectful (I think? ), this really does seem to be poor.

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Response from Martin Esposito, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service

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Dear TammyNorrie

I was really sorry to hear about your experience when trying to get your daughter to her appointment. It is really disappointing to hear about the lack of empathy of the ambulance staff you encountered, they were clearly not adhering to the values of the Scottish Ambulance Service. How we act and are seen to act is so important and, as your experience highlights, it can have a such a negative and lasting effect.

On behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service please accept my sincere apologies for the behaviour of the ambulance staff. I hope you managed to get your daughter to her appointment in time and that everything went well.

Take care


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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear TammyNorrie,

I am sorry you had difficulty parking and all the distress that followed. I too hope all is well with you and your daughter now,

Best wishes,


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Update posted by TammyNorrie (a parent/guardian)

Thanks Eunice. The parking issue was unavoidable - improvements have to be made and whilst it is happening there is bound to be a knock on effect. I had allowed extra time but clearly not enough!

Martin - I was I intrigued by your comments re the values of the Scottish Ambulance Service and wondered how this is ensured/monitored? Do staff participate in values based training of some sort? How are attitudes role modelled and supported? I didn't really get a sense from your post of how your service ensures to deliver the values it claims?

I suppose I just don't feel at all reassured that this member of staff (and maybe others) won't continue to go around being equally nasty to other members of the public. And in turn, how does your service strive to ensure that their colleague doesn't think that is how a member of ambulance staff behaves and then perpetuates that.

Many thanks.

Response from Martin Esposito, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service

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Dear TammyNorrie

I’m sorry that you found my initial response unhelpful but glad you have replied. It is difficult to completely reassure you that no-one will behave in this way but let me try by explaining what happens. All of our new staff go through an induction programme and as part of this they are introduced to the values of the Scottish Ambulance Service. I was a Practice Placement Educator prior to becoming Patient Experience Manager and I want to tell you that our values, such as respect, integrity and dignity are integral to the ongoing development of all of our staff. In addition, with our frontline staff, we operate a mentorship programme so that all of our newer members of staff have a named mentor to provide support and guidance through all aspects of their training.

Occasionally there are times when we let ourselves down and I am really sorry you had to experience this especially at such a stressful time. I have shared your comments with the South West management team for them to consider with their teams and to hopefully prevent your experience happening to others. I’ll let you know when I get any feedback from that.

If you do wish to discuss this further or feel able to share any more details please give me a call on 0131 314 0003 or email me at martinesposito@nhs.net

Kind regards


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