"Day of delays and distress "

About: Bristol Royal Infirmary / Cardiology Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a carer),

Yesterday my husband had an appointment for an annual check-up on his heart at Bristol Royal Infirmary, which was supposed to start at 2: 20pm. As usual we were told to be ready and waiting for the ambulance service two hours before the appointment time.

When the ambulance hadn't arrived by 1: 50pm--half an hour before my husband's appointment--I became concerned and called to enquire about its whereabouts. To my annoyance I couldn't get through on the phone.

In the meantime, I was stood outside in the freezing cold with my husband--who has Dementia--waiting for the ambulance transport service to arrive. This caused great stress and upset for both me and my husband.

The ambulance eventually turned up at 2: 25pm and we arrived for my husband's appointment one hour and twenty minutes late. To our horror and distress, we then waited another forty minutes and were eventually seen at 4: 20pm.

Throughout the ordeal no one offered us anything to eat or drink, so I decided to pop down to the restaurant whilst my husband was still being examined. A nurse reassured me that she would bring my husband down in a wheelchair when he was finished. I waited at least an hour before my husband was brought down at 6: 30pm.

We were then left waiting until 7: 00pm, as there was no one there to take us home. My husband can't go in taxi because he wets himself, so we were left stranded. And all the time there was an ambulance right in front of us not being used.

By this stage my husband was in a hell of a state, he was cold, distressed and had wet himself. Luckily, an ambulance that wasn't meant for us saw that we'd been abandoned and gave us a lift home. They were darlings, they couldn't do enough, they even helped my husband go to toilet when we got home.

I don't want to blame the people who drive the ambulances and go out and care for people, it's the service as a whole that is not caring enough for me and my husband. All this is making me depressed and making my job as a carer even harder.

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Response from Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Thank you for posting your comments on Patient Opinion and we're really sorry that elements of our service did not meet with expectation.

This concerns us, so if you would like us to investigate some of these issues please get in touch and we will do our very best to resolve them for you.