"Care Following an Overdose"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service) Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as the patient),

Having suffered with several severe mental health issues for many years, I have found myself in A&E time after time having self harmed or overdosed. In the early hours I found myself in that same situation, having taken paracetamol. I called NHS 24 who dealt with me promptly and efficiently, arranging for an ambulance to arrive within the hour. The paramedics were really lovely and attentive, holding conversation with me for the whole ride to Glasgow Royal. They were so considerate and caring. Once they’d dropped me off into A&E I was terrified as previous experiences haven’t been so good. But everyone was fantastic. Emma (I think that was her name) was a healthcare assistant who helped do an ECG. She was really kind, introduced herself and chatted to me as she did the procedure. The nurses were all fab. When I got round to seeing a doctor, I felt genuinely listened to. He was really patient and understanding, I cannot thank him enough for doing this. He explained clearly what was going to happen with my treatment and got it started really quickly, ensuring I was comfortable the whole time. Even after leaving and coming back, he repeated word for word exactly what I’d told him about my condition, what I’d done and even remembered little family details I’d mentioned. What a star. I cannot praise him enough. The nurses were so kind to me and dealt with my vomiting and sickness really well - I could never do that job! They were constantly reassuring me and providing me with anti sickness relief when I needed it. 

Once treatment started I was moved onto the Acute Assessment Area to continue with it and everyone there was again just so lovely and attentive. I know they are not often equipped or fully trained to deal with mental health patients and there is still a lot of stigma, but every single nurse in the AAA unit treated me with the upmost dignity and respect. The consultants soon stopped treatment as it was doing more harm than good, and they too listened to my concerns and respected me. I was soon moved to a waiting area to see some psychiatric nurses which was the only downside unfortunately. I felt rushed in leaving the assessment area and waiting in a stuffy room full of other patients made me feel slightly distressed. I was there for around 3 hours. This was a long time to wait after treatment. I understand GRI is pushed for space and beds but this wasn’t so great. But once I finally saw the CPNs I was very relieved. 

I used to be a student nurse before I gave up due to my mental health but every single member of nursing, medical and healthcare assistant staff has inspired me to one day get back to the profession. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 


Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear cbglasgow123

Thank you for being so open and honest about your mental health issues. I think you have shared a very powerful story. I do wish you all the best.

It was good of you to take the time to thank the staff members who cared for you during your recent hospital attendance. Their care clearly had a positive impact on you and it would be fantastic, when you feel ready, if you were able to pick up your Nursing career. I wish you every success with that.

I note you have mentioned contact with NHS 24 within your story and that is why the Care Opinion Team shared it with us. Whilst we may have only played a small role in your overall journey of care, it is always good to be included in complimentary feedback so thanks for that.

I will share your story within NHS 24 so that our staff can be reminded of the important role they play in patient care.

Should you wish to share anything specific about your call to NHS 24, then I would be delighted to hear from you. I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

Take care and good luck for the future


Shona Lawrence

NHS 24 Patient Affairs Manager

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Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Team, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear cbglasgow123

Thank you for taking the time to share your story on Care Opinion.

I am sorry to read that you had to be admitted to hospital but I am pleased to hear that the care and treatment you received at the different stages of your time in hospital was of such a high standard.

I will pass on your kind comments and thanks to the staff as I know that they will appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

I will also highlight to the General Manager your feedback about the waiting area, please accept our apologies for the distress that this caused.

I do hope that you have the opportunity to resume your nursing studies.

Kind Regards


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Response from Mark Hannan, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Hi cbglasgow123,

As our partners at NHS24 and NHS Greater Glasgow have already said, it is really great when we hear such positive feedback about our staff, particularly when it involves such a powerful story like your own.

On behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service, and the paramedic crew who treated you that day, thank you very much for taking the time to show your appreciation for the care you received. It is much appreciated.

I wish you all the very best for the future and good luck on your journey back into the profession.

Kind Regards,


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Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Team, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear cbglasgow123

We have shared your post with the staff in the Emergency Department including the Health Care Worker and Doctor who looked after you. We are deeply appreciative of the fact that you took the time and trouble to write this post and it meant a huge amount to the team that their efforts to try to provide a caring service whilst under considerable pressure, were recognised.

Thank you

Alastair Ireland

Emergency Department – Glasgow Royal Infirmary

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