"Mixed Paramedic Care"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as the patient),

During a recent night out when I was out with my boyfriend and friends, I suddenly began to feel very unwell and was sweating and feeling very dizzy. I went to the toilet and came out and I had collapsed in the middle of the club. After the bouncers carrying me unconscious up the stairs closer to the door, their assumption of me being "just really drunk" was staring to wear off. The decision was made by staff and my friends to call an ambulance as this was not normal.

Once the paramedics had arrived, they examined me and were trying to waken me up. However my boyfriend was informing me that one of the medics were being very unsympathetic and not very friendly under the assumption that I was just a drunk teenager. Once I had awoken, the other medic was talking to be very calmly and explaining what had happened, where I was etc. He asked if I did not want to go to hospital, which I didn't, and said I would need to sign a form to say they had been and given me the option. The paramedic who didn't really seem concerned at all spent a lot of the time arguing against my friends about how old I really was and what I had taken and how much I had drank rather than accepting the fact that the most likely cause of this was that someone had slipped something in my drink.

Overall this one paramedic out of the two was really not concerned about me at all and thought I was simply just drunk. He seemed very angry and snappy at me for "wasting his time". Despite this, the care I received from the other paramedic was great I was so thankful for him being there as were my friends. I doubt that this is the first time that this has happened to a person and I feel that paramedics and other emergency services shouldn't be so quick to judge on whether a person is "just drunk" or not.

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Response from Martin Esposito, Clinical Effectiveness Lead, Clinical Directorate, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Martin Esposito

Dear Hagalag

Thank you for sharing your experience and I am sorry for taking so long to reply to you.

I was really disappointed to read about the attitude of one of the crew members who attended to you on that evening. I am extremely sorry that you, your boyfriend and the other friends that you were with had such a poor experience at what must have been a frightening time for all of you.

I am not sure that I will be able to reassure you but what I would like you to know is that that vast majority of our staff do treat their patients in a non-judgemental, caring manner, whatever the situation. Our values include care and compassion as well as dignity and respect. The importance of these values is emphasised on the initial induction course that all of our new staff attend as well as through ongoing training, development and internal communications.

I was glad to hear that the other crew member did treat you in a caring manner and was able to reassure you and your friends.

I do hope that you have been well since this incident and thank you again for sharing.

Take care


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