"Ambulance response time was unacceptable"

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

(as the patient),

I badly dislocated my right knee at recently. An ambulance was called at approximately 1: 50pm and was subsequently chased by telephone 3 times – firstly when my muscles cramped and I had attempted to put it back myself because the pain was too much and then almost passed out, and when I was hurting from laying in the same position and also couldn’t feel my right foot.

I had to wait 2 hours for an ambulance to turn up (approximately 3: 50pm). I believe they then called another ambulance, and after taking a look called an emergency doctor, so I was there for 3 hours in total before it was put back in.

I believe this is unacceptable. I was in extreme pain, was told not to drink anything (of which I hadn’t had a drink since earlier in the morning) so was extremely thirsty as I was profusely sweating from the pain and heat from inside the building. I accept that in the line of life threatening injuries it’s low on the list but still carries its own complications, not to mention the muscle stretching/damage the longer that it is out of place. To make matters worse I was told that I was one of the only incidents that day that actually genuinely needed a paramedic.

The paramedics that attended were great, I believe it was Tim and Matt from Yate and also Neil and Mark. They were fantastic and gave me the pain relief needed and successfully got the knee cap back in.

I would like a response please and also any instructions on how I can take this further.

Please can you tell me why someone with a fully dislocated kneecap (presuming that it wasn’t anything more at the time) would be left for so long?

What are your Service Level Agreements for the time between reporting an incident and attending? Where these met in this case?

What can be done to ensure that if this injury happened to me or anyone else that this delay wouldn’t happen again?

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

Hi RJU86

Thank you for your feedback. I hope you are recovering well after your knee injury.

I am very sorry, but not possible for me to directly answer your questions here; in order to locate the details of the ambulance attendance to you we need specific address and date information and we need this to ascertain the details of your emergency call, response times and so forth. Your feedback here has been anonymised, so we are unable to see any specific details you may have initially provided.

We would welcome the opportunity to look into the event. May I ask you to contact our Patient Experience Team on either swast.patientexperience@nhs.uk or 01392 261 585 and a member of the team will be happy to take you through the process of investigation.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to share your story.


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