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September 2015

Date: 31 August 2015

  • Details:

    The patient fell in the early hours. An ambulance was called and the patient was concerned that the crew was taking a longer route to the hospital than was necessary. The driver was switching between driving slowly (around 20 mph) and then driving very fast.

    The complainant, husband of the patient, followed the ambulance to the hospital and stayed behind the vehicle trying to keep up. The complainant was not happy that the ambulance stopped and the driver of the ambulance got out of the vehicle and spoke aggressively at the complainant for driving along the bus lane. His manner very rude and the complainant was upset that his wife was not being taken to the hospital as an emergency. The ambulance did not have blue lights on.

  • Findings:

    The Investigating Manager interviewed the crew. The crew member who was driving the ambulance was following the route the ambulance satellite navigation system instructed him to go. The route was pre-planned by the ambulance navigation system to accommodate the size of the ambulance and to try and ensure a smooth and comfortable drive for his crew member and the patient.

    The driver advised that he stopped to warn the complainant about the cameras in the bus lane, emergency vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes however other drivers are not. The patient’s clinical condition did not warrant the use of blue lights and sirens on route to hospital.

  • Lesson learnt / action taken:

    Apologies were provided to the complainant in relation to the communication style used by the crew member. Awareness of attitude and communication issues were raised with the staff member and a reflective practice meeting took place.

  • Date:
    29 August 2015