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November 2014 - case study 2

Date: 01 November 2014

  • Details:

    An ambulance crew attended the complainant’s house where the patient was suffering with Puerperal Psychosis (postpartum). When the crew entered the house they were hostile, dismissive, arrogant and very unprofessional towards patient’s husband. The crew member called the police and they attended for a while and left when they realised they were not needed. Why did the crew member make assumptions before he had made his assessment of the patient?

  • Findings:

    The Investigating Manager has spoken to the crew members and the Police Officer who attended the incident and has also reviewed the Patient Care Record completed on scene by the crew. The patient’s husband had made an emergency appointment for his wife. However he had not been able to persuade her to leave the house to attend the appointment.

    The crew stated the people on scene were agitated when they arrived. They used a recognised de-escalation technique and split up, with one attending to the patient whilst the other spoke to the relatives.

    A Health Visitor had attended the previous evening and there had been no concern at that time. The patient clearly stated to the attending clinician that she had no problem and was at odds with her husband’s wishes for her to attend the Doctor’s appointment. Her capacity to consent and make decisions about her own healthcare was considered and recorded.

    The crew discussed the situation with the attending Police Officer and he agreed that there appeared to be no medical problem warranting transport to hospital by the crew.

  • Lesson learnt / action taken:

    This incident was traumatic and very distressing for all parties involved as emotions were running high. The Trust apologised that the complainant’s expectations were not met on this occasion and the staff were fully debriefed.

  • Date:
    01 November 2014