"Ambulance never showed up"

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

(as a relative),

My husband had an appointment at the Southmead hospital yesterday for which we booked an ambulance to get us there and back. I should explain my husband is in a wheelchair and needs a two man crew to help him get on and off the ambulance. The journey to the hospital was fine and his appointment was finished at 3: 50pm. We were told the ambulance would collect us at 4: 30, by 5: 30 nothing had happened.

Staff at the hospital called the ambulance service to check what was happening, we were told the ambulance crew was on its way. At 6: 00pm we were still waiting. 7: 00pm – nothing; 7: 45 told we would be collected; 8: 00pm – still waiting; 8: 30pm we were told we had not been allocated an ambulance. At 9: 00pm, in desperation we called our son, who lives in Portishead, to come and collect us.

My husband has diabetes, he missed his medication because we were stuck at the hospital. My husband was so badly affected by this experience he felt he wanted to end his life because he felt he was being a burden.

Sadly this is not the only occasion when we have been left waiting for unreasonable lengths. We had a similar experience in mid-October when we unfortunately missed our ambulance for the return journey as my husband needed additional tests and the appointment ended 5 minutes later than originally anticipated. We were then kept waiting and waiting for another ambulance.

I feel that we are fobbed off and fobbed off without any consideration being given to the person kept waiting. We waited five and half hours before desperately making our own arrangements. Not acceptable.

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

Good Morning Ceramic154,

Thank you for taking the time to provide our Patient Transport Service with feedback. I hope your husband's treatment is going well.

I'm sorry to hear that you and your husband had to wait for such a long period of time. It would be difficult for me to comment on the possible reasons behind this without more detailed information about your experience. If you would like us to look into this for you, please could I ask you to contact our Patient Experience Team either by emailing patientexperience@swast.nhs.uk or calling 01392 261585 and they will be happy to guide you through the process.

Thank you again for sharing your story with us.


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