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October 2019

Date: 01 October 2019

  • Details:

    A private ambulance crew working on behalf of EEAST attended a GP surgery on blue lights and sirens at the request of the GP, following his assessment of a 16-day old baby who was having issues with breathing.

    The complaint was in relation to the attitude and demeanour of the crew being unprofessional.

    During the GP giving a handover, the crew were looking at the baby and back at the GP, back at the baby and then back at the GP almost insinuating that there was no emergency. One of the crew also commented whilst walking out, that GPs always go over the top. The complainant noted that when in the ambulance and travelling, it was not on blue lights and sirens as requested by the GP.

    The complainant also highlighted one of the crew members saying that if they had attended the complainants home address that they would not have taken the baby to hospital.

  • Findings:

    As part of the investigation, the Investigating Officer passed the complaint onto the Private Ambulance Service (PAS) provider to investigate and examine the facts of the incident.

    The investigating officer found out that the crew did speak to the complainant following a brief handover by the GP staff. The crew said that from their observations, the patient clinical status appeared normal. The crew also stated that they were told the patient had breathing issues since their birth. Due to these observations they were not concerned clinically for the patient but took the patient to the ED as requested but under normal road speed conditions.

    In relation to the comments from the crew, the investigator found the crew did state that they were not concerned as the condition the patient had with breathing was since birth.

    The crew also stated that they were not seeking to undermine the GP but were trying to offer reassurance to the patient’s mother.

  • Lesson learnt / action taken:

    It is important to see how things can be interpreted by others.

    From the investigation, the crew were asked to conduct reflective practice and have accepted that their approach in this case had not been the most effective way to communicate with the patient’s mother.

    The reflective practice was conducted with a clinical team leader. The crew will also be attending customer care education and training led by a senior member of the clinical team.

  • Date:
    01 October 2019