"Excellent ambulance staff second time around"

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

(as a relative),

My Mother, who is in her nineties, had an appointment at the cardiology clinic at Bristol Royal Infirmary for her pacemaker to be checked. She is in a nursing home in Yate and I had made arrangements for an ambulance to take her to the hospital – I would go with her as she is in poor health and has dementia.

I was dreading the trip, at her last appointment a year ago the ambulance service was dreadful. A young woman driver didn’t care about the patients she was collecting, her ‘job’ was to collect people and that’s as far as it went. My Mother was very upset at the way she was treated on the way to the hospital and the matter was not helped by the fact that we were kept waiting for 5 hours at the hospital to be returned home. This was very distressing for my Mother who is doubly incontinent.

This time I was quite stressed for the whole day before the appointment as I anticipated the same level of service from the previous year.

However, it was fantastic, the professionalism was second to none. The two men on the ambulance, Dave and Mike, were so caring and considerate it was heartwarming. When they came to collect my Mother from the nursing home they could see she was not well and that she was agitated and beginning to shake. They reassured her, took their time with her and made sure she was comfortable with everything they did.

We got to the hospital at 10: 45 for our 11: 00 appointment. I asked them what would happen next as I was concerned about when we would be collected for the return journey. Dave and Mike wheeled my Mother to the clinic and asked the nurses how long it would take for her to be seen so that could work out when to come back. The nurse explained it would take just 5 minutes and if the men could wait that long they would see to my Mother straight away. The ambulance men waited for the checks to be completed and returned us to the nursing home immediately.

The nursing staff at the clinic could not have been kinder. They too could see my Mother was anxious and were very understanding in seeing her immediately, before her due appointment time.

This experience could not have been more different from our experience a year earlier. I know it is the staff who make all the difference – I’m just so grateful for the care and compassion Dave and Mike showed. My Mother was much more relaxed and happy when we got back to the nursing home.

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

Hi Likely36

Thank you for taking time to share your story with us. I glad your mother had an easier journey compared with her previous experience.

It is always so rewarding to hear how our staff are delivering excellent care to patients and reassuring their families when they need it most.

We would be very happy to pass on your kind words to the ambulance staff involved in your mother's transport, however we will need some additional information from you to do this. If you would like us to do this,may I ask you to contact the Patient Engagement Team on plaudits@swast.nhs.uk or 01392 453831and a member of the team will be happy to talk you through how we pass on thanks.

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


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