"A&E Ayr Hospital"

About: Ayr Hospital / Accident & Emergency Ayr Hospital / General Medicine Scottish Ambulance Service

(as a carer),

I telephoned my fathers GP who came out for a house visit. My father was to be admitted to Ayr Hospital and an ambulance was to take him there. I travelled in the ambulance with my father and the staff could not have been any nicer, telling us both at all times, what was happening.

We got to Ayr Hospital at 10. 15am and were told that as the medical admissions ward was full, to expect a 10 hour wait for a bed. I sat with my father and throughout the day he was seen by the A&E doctor, the medical admissions doctor and monitored by the nursing staff in A&E.

At one point I had to remind the staff that the doctor had mentioned him getting a drip over an hour before only to be told it was on the 'to do' list.

Just after 4 pm we were told they thought my father had suffered a Mini Stroke and that he would be sent for a chest xray and then admitted to Station 16 (the stroke unit). After being wheeled round to xray and waiting for 10 minutes we were told we were going back to A&E for another doctor to have a look at him. I then discovered he hadn't had an xray while there.

My father was asked the same questions and examined for the 4th time that day and was exhausted by this time. Only when I asked this fourth doctor why the xray was cancelled and was it because they were actually trying to 'get rid' of my father to save themselves a bed did things start to happen quickly.

Just after 5 pm we were taken to xray again for a CT scan and his chest xray. Then at 5. 30 pm he was admitted to the stroke unit.

What a day! ! Most of the staff we were in contact with were really good but you could see they were under pressure and rather unorganised.

I know the answer given by management will be that 'it was an unusually busy day' that day but this is his second admission this year and I was given that excuse the last time after waiting for over 6 hours in A&E.

How can the board and managers be constantly closing and doing away with beds that they quite obviously need? How can this be justified? Is it all about costs? How many times a year is Ayr Hospital closed for medical admissions due to there being no beds? Is this the way we should be treating our elderly generation? How will we cope with the aging population?

Too many questions that I know won't be answered!

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

Dear weenor

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about the care your father, and you, received from the Scottish Ambulance Service. I will pass this on to the staff.

I hope your father is making a good recovery.

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Craig White

I am sorry that no response has been provided to your comments and questions before now - this should have happened. I will make contact with the relevant staff within the Accident and Emergency Department at University Hospital, Ayr and arrange to publish the response as a priority. We have recently commissioned an Emergency Care Quality Improvement Programme to address many of the issues that you have outlined, so I will make sure that information on this is also provided.

Best wishes

Craig White

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Response from Craig White, Assistant Director, Nurse Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

picture of Craig White

Your submission has been reviewed and I have received this response from the Director of Integrated Care and Emergency Services:

"We offer an unreserved apology to your father and yourself for the unacceptable wait in our A&E Department, and confirm this is not the standard of care we aspire to provide for our patients.

Regrettably we have found it challenging over recent months dealing with peaks in emergency care demand which have led to the lengthy waits you describe for patients waiting for an appropriate bed in the hospital. This unfortunately has been despite the hospital having increased the number of medical beds since November 2012 and expanded a range of support services into the evenings and over weekends, to try to deal with demand.

As a result of our drop in performance we have also taken steps to focus on a number of improvement areas, and we expect this work to address our current shortcomings and ultimately improve our patients’ experience of our services.

We thank you again for taking the time to tell us about the care your father and you received, and apologise sincerely once again."

I had mentioned in my initial response that there was an ongoing programme of improvements in emergency care. More information can be obtained at http://www.nhsaaa.net/media/162672/sp110113.pdf

Best wishes

Craig White

Professor Craig A White

Assistant Director, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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