"Poor service"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Emergency department Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as the patient),

Having gone to toilet, I vomited after it unexpectedly...despite having no notion of feeling sick. I then received a severe mass of pain just above my waist to the right hand side. I couldn't get up and walk about. I managed to crawl to the couch to phone for an ambulance. Your desk staff are the pits to put it bluntly. Yes I know you need to take details and medical information and assess my condition. I was told that they would phone back after consulting an advisor and that the phone call wouldn't delay help as it was on its way. HALF AN HOUR LATER... I receive a phone call in which asks me if I'm still where I am and how my state is. Luckily my mums friend came round and I asked that she take me to hairmyres A&E. Absolutely pathetic service, I could've been lying dead for all you know because you need to consult an advisor. If you aren't competent to send an ambulance out in a quick time, I can now see why the NHS is in the state it is just now. When I reached hospital I could barely even get out of the car, I was half conscious and hyperventilating due to shock and excruciating pain. The A&E section of the hospital was literally empty bar a couple of patients. A couple of people were in front in the queue and fair enough they are just like me needing help as quick as possible too. They were told at the desk that I was in severe pain and was having full body spasms and yet two times they didn't bat an eyelid going "I can see that" on the third time being told the woman went "I'll go get someone".

Now, the level of skill and confidence the young staff at hairmyres have is phenomenal. I was given painkillers immediately (all be it I threw them back up), I got blood taken without question, an ECG and a urine test carried out by one of your star nurses. There was no uncertainties, she knew exactly what she was doing. She kept me calm and managed to keep talking and taking my mind off the problem at hand while still carrying out these procedures. This is a skill that not many can do having been in literally every hospital in Glasgow basically to date. I was told to hold on for a bit as she was away to seek the doctor. The doctor, came in and introduced himself and went straight to work having had the blood test results. Superb bed side manner. He immediately said that I should have a voltarol suppository 100mg Diclofenac Sodium Novartis inserted into my abdomen which would reduce the pain massively in the right side of my waist area. He asked to check my testicles for any abnormalities that may have occurred due to the region of pain. Unlike your service desk staff and 999 service, these doctors actually get on with the job at hand because they "know" what they are doing. And right enough it did, with the infusion of compound sodium lactate to flush my system out too. After a while the doctor came back and my pain had subsided. He went over what it was and that it had been a possible kidney stone, a low risk of appendicitis is still there but it's very low.

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Response from Pat O'Meara, National Head of Ambulance Control Services, Ambulance Control Centres, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear User 023,

I was very sorry to read that you were unhappy with the way that your 999 call was dealt with. We do take callers through a series of questions to ensure that we send the best and most appropriate response and with some calls, once the questions have been asked, we will ask a clinician based in the ambulance control centre to call you to do a more in depth assessment.

I would really like to be able to look at your call in more detail and check what happened on the day in question. I also want to be able to get back to you to explain what happened to you personally.

Please could I ask you to call me on 0141 810 6101. I hope that you are making a good recovery.



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Response from Lise Axford, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, Hairmyres Hospital

picture of Lise Axford

Dear User023

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience. I wanted to respond to you regarding your experience within the A&E department as Pat is looking into your pre-hospital care.

We strive hard to ensure that all patients are seen promptly and work together as a team to ensure patients are prioritised appropriately. I would expect reception staff to inform the nurse in charge of any patient who is distressed and in pain. I will share your concerns with the whole team to convey any patient concerns directly to nursing staff and apologise for any delay caused.

Thank you for your positive comments regarding your treatment within A&E. I am delighted that the nurse was confident in her skills and that she provided a calm, reassuring approach. The 'superb' bedside demonstrated by the doctor is so important at such a distressing time. Your comments will be shared with the whole team.

I hope you continue to make a good recovery.

Best wishes


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