"Paramedics were wonderful, very kind and caring. The 111 operators need to be trained to be more empathetic"

About: Poole General Hospital / Accident and emergency South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111

(as the patient),

When my daughter had not been well over Christmas and New year and her condition became worse I called 111. I was distressed with concern for my daughter but the operator seem oblivious to this and was very aggressive in they was they talked ‘at’ me not ‘to’ me. They did trigger the paramedic to attend, however, and they arrived whilst the operator was still on the phone. The paramedics were able to hear the way in which the operator was talking and were appalled, one of them just told me to put the phone down on the grounds no one should be treated the way I was being treated.

The paramedics were excellent, they check my daughter and decided she should be taken to the A&E department to help her with breathing difficulties she was experiencing. At the hospital my daughter was examined again, given oxygen to help with her breathing problems and once she was more stable she was discharged with a possible virus.

Unfortunately her condition got worse over the next week or so, I got her to the GP who prescribed antibiotics. Before these had a chance to start working my daughter developed a very high temperature, had ear ache and her skin looked very mottled. I again called 111 as I became more concerned. This time the operator was slightly better but I still did not feel very comfortable being questioned by the operator.

The paramedics who came this second time were again excellent, I cannot fault them.

They again took my daughter to Poole hospital where she was seen in the A&E department. This time they realised it was scarlet fever that my daughter was suffering from and reassured me that when the antibiotics our GP had prescribed stated to work they would help to bring the temperature down, ease the earache and help her to breathe better. They gave her oxygen to help stabilize her breathing before discharging her.

The hospital staff and paramedics were wonderful, very kind and caring. The 111 operators need to be trained to be more empathetic

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Response from Poole General Hospital

I am sorry to hear of the problems that you encountered with NHS 111.

This service is actually run by South Western Ambulance Services.

It is not part of Poole Hospital.

You can find their contact details at http://www.swast.nhs.uk/get-in-touch.htm if you would like to give them feedback on your experience.

I am pleased to hear that the ambulance crews and Poole Hospital gave you and your daughter good service and managed to reassure you as it is so worrying when youngsters are unwell.

I hope that your daughter has now made a complete and full recovery from her scarlet fever and I hope that if you ever need to bring her to Poole Hospital again, you will be equally pleased with the service you receive.

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

Hi Energy377

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback - I hope your daughter has recovered well.

I am sorry that you feel that the 111 operator treated you poorly.

The detail you have provided here has been anonymised, so I am to locate the details of the 111 call and susequent ambulance attendance, so I cannot direct comment on the event.

However, we would welcome the opportunity to look into the care provided to you and your daughter; if you would like us to do this 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 able to provide information on the next steps.

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


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