Corby man waited nearly 18 hours for non-emergency ambulance transport

A disabled man who relies on the non-emergency ambulance service to get home says he was left waiting for 18 hours at KGH.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 4:19 pm
Thames Ambulance Service Limited run the non-emergency transport for KGH

Tony Robertson, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Corby, said he was discharged from KGH at around 4.30pm on Sunday, September 29 but did not get home until nearly 10.30am the following day.

Mr Robertson, 65, has relied on non-emergency ambulance transport because he is blind in his right eye and partially sighted in his left, is an amputee and cannot use a wheelchair due to carpal tunnel syndrome.

After he was discharged Mr Robertson said: "I spoke to nurses and they said, 'We don't understand this, people have been discharged after you and they're on their way home'."

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Mr Robertson said he had made a complaint earlier this year after he claims he was denied non-emergency ambulance transport for an appointment this summer.

Mr Robertson said: "In my mind, there's some sort of vendetta, maybe because I made a complaint."

He said he only needed transport to get to the appointment earlier this year because his daughter, who works at the hospital, would be able to give him a lift home.

He claims that the person helping to organise his transport then said Mr Robertson would not qualify for non-emergency ambulance travel and said: "If you are able to get into your daughter's car, you are able to get a taxi."

Mr Robertson missed that appointment and made a complaint.

He said when he was waiting for non-emergency ambulance travel on September 29, he started talking to an ambulance crew member.

Mr Robertson said: "An ambulance girl was sitting [next to me] and she said, 'there's a report about you', and she read out the complaint to me on her phone."

Mr Robertson then called the ambulance service operator again and said: "I asked him, my complaint was between myself and you, are they confidential? Then why was an ambulance crew able to read all that I said to you?"

A spokesman for Thames Ambulance Service Limited (TASL), who provide the non-emergency ambulance transport service, said: "In respect of our patient’s privacy and the NHS regulations we adhere to, we can’t publicly comment directly on what happened in this individual case, but if a complaint has been made then we can confirm an investigation will be under way and the patient will be given full details of why this happened.

"We will also take actions from the investigation to improve our service where possible.

"We apologise for delays and confusion that have happened here and will endeavour to have clarity for this patient as soon as possible."