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December 2015

Date: 01 December 2015

  • Details:

    The patient had been visited by her GP who decided that she should be admitted to hospital for further tests. An ambulance was requested and when the paramedic arrived, he expressed his opinion that the patient did not need to go to hospital. Concerns were raised as to why the paramedic was questioning the GP’s decision. The paramedic was dismissive and disrespectful of the information provided by the family about the patient’s Dementia. The complainant was distressed and upset with the attitude of the paramedic and wanted to know if ambulance crews are warned in advance of patients having dementia.

  • Findings:

    The crew member was not a registered Paramedic, but an Emergency Care Assistant (ECA) employed by an Independent Private Ambulance Service (IPAS), contracted to respond to lower priority calls on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. IPAS crews are only used from the Trust’s accredited independent ambulance providers who must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with no conditions to practice. Each IPAS provider is re-accredited every six months to provide continual assurance to the Trust that they are operating to the standards required.

    Doctor did not leave any information or a letter to explain their findings following consultation, nor details of any suggested treatment. The crew wanted to speak to the Doctor to ensure continuity of care of the patient both en-route and upon arrival at hospital.

    Upon review, it is clear that there was a breakdown of communication between the crew and the carer; the crew have apologised if they have caused any upset or distress by this incident, however, they acted in the patient’s best interests throughout their attendance.

  • Lesson learnt / action taken:

    Further to this incident, memorandums have been sent to all of our Independent Private Ambulance Services to remind them that they must convey the patient to the receiving destination as originally requested; delaying on scene can often cause frustration and the crew in this instance have apologised if this was the case. The investigating manager has asked that both crew members be retrained to address the issues of professionalism, communication and improved customer care.

  • Date:
    01 December 2015