Hemel woman hits out after claiming husband, 75, was refused ambulance

The ambulance service says that if healthcare professionals request emergency transport for a life-threatening condition, then this will be provided

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:14 pm

A woman from Hemel Hempstead has criticised the East of England Ambulance Service claiming it refused to send an ambulance for her husband after his doctor requested one.

Margaret Sharp, of Cotterells, was frustrated after she was told that the ambulance service was only responding to falls and 999 calls.

She had to call several private ambulance companies on Thursday, August 26, before getting one to take her 75-year-old husband to hospital.

Margaret has complained to the East of England Ambulance Service about her husband's experience

She said: "My husband needed to go on an antibiotic drip but the ambulance would not take him to hospital.

"The doctor rang the ambulance and I was told they said they could not take him as they were only doing 999 calls or responding to falls

"I had to phone round private ambulance companies and eventually managed to get one, for £300.

"I know the NHS is struggling but this should not have happened.

"Phillip had something in his blood and the doctor was not sure if it was from an accident or if it was a chest infection.

"The antibiotics he was prescribed were not working so the doctor called the ambulance for him to go to the hospital for a drip.

"This was an emergency and should not have happened.

"It is not really about the money, it is more the principal, people should not be treated like this.

"When a doctor calls for an ambulance, that call should be classed as an emergency."

Phillip returned home from hospital on Wednesday, September 1, and Margaret says the staff seemed 'inexperienced'.

She said: "He had an ambulance transfer from Watford General Hospital.

"He slipped out of the wheelchair several times, he was screaming.

"The ambulance service needs to sort themselves out, this can not go on.

"This is about quality of care and from what I saw they looked inexperienced. It was pathetic.

"I called the hospital, as that is where the ambulance is based, but no one returned my call.

"I told the drivers that I would be making a complaint about the way they treated him, they didn't even strap him in.

"It is not good enough, people should be treated better than that."

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "We want every patient to have a positive care experience of our non-emergency transport services, and we would welcome the patient or their family contacting us directly so that we can thoroughly investigate their concerns."

The East of England Ambulance Service works closely with healthcare professionals to offer appropriate transport for patients who need to attend hospital, within eligibility criteria.

Decisions on transport are based on the information provided to the ambulance service at the time of request.

The ambulance service says that if healthcare professionals request emergency transport for a life-threatening condition, then this will always be provided.