"Communication concerns"

About: Forth Valley Royal Hospital Scottish Ambulance Service

(as the patient),

Earlier this week, NHS24 requested an emergency ambulance for my mother. This arrived fairly promptly and I admitted two ambulance service employees into the flat. They spoke very little only confirming what they needed to know and giving no information of what they intended to do. At no stage, to my knowledge, did they offer any information and we only realised that they intended moving her someplace when they began to make moves to put her in their chair and strap her in.

I know it is hard to imagine but there was complete silence from both of them and it didn’t really invite any questions from either my mother or myself as her carer. The only one thing they asked was where are her slippers!

They proceeded to take her out of the flat and I followed, stopping to lock the door, during which time they called the lift (she lives on the 11th floor) got in and descended leaving me stranded. I took the stairs. Although it was now clear they were taking her somewhere, neither my mother nor I had been informed where. Was it Stirling, Falkirk or Larbert?

I arrived at the car park as they were finishing off loading her and, still without a word or a look in my direction, they closed the door and drove off! Luckily I had my own car but they neither knew that or cared. I decided to go to Larbert, which was a lucky guess.

Their lack of communication did not end there – I went to the reception at A&E (very helpful) but as I could not confirm that she had been brought there and reception had not been informed the receptionist couldn’t take any details and had to go to the admitting ward to confirm that my mother was at Larbert – she was.

My mother informs me that on the journey not a word was spoken – hardly re-assuring. She was left with the impression that she had done something wrong and shouldn’t have been using the service.

I don’t intend to make this an official complaint as the issue is certainly patient focussed training which is available across the NHS but what I would ask is the ambulance service finds out who the employees were and ensures that this training is undertaken with urgency.

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Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Many thanks for your posting, I am sorry that you and your mum have had a poor experience around communication from staff.

Thank you for your feedback around A&E, I will share this with our staff.

I hope you mum has made a good recovery

Many thanks


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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Thank you for your feedback. I'm sorry about the experience your mother has had, and for your own experience as her carer.

I would like to share your feedback to learn from this. You have indicated you would rather not make a formal complaint. I wondered if you would be willing to give me a call with more detail, so we can follow up your feedback appropriately.

If you are willing to do this, please call me, at your convenience, on 0131 446 7000.

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