Great-gran (90) waits four HOURS for ambulance
A 90-YEAR-OLD great-gran who suffered a fall at home had to wait nearly FOUR hours for an ambulance to take her to the Victoria Hospital, it's been claimed.
Rachel Davidson said "prisons wouldn't put up" with the treatment her mum Rhoda Forbes received, which she described as "a nightmare from start to finish".
She also slammed the service at the under-fire hospital, claiming her mum endured a three-hour wait for treatment, incorrect information provided and uncaring staff who failed to respond to her needs.
Mrs Forbes, who also has dysphasia following a stroke nine years ago, fell in the bathroom at her Oakley home around 10.30am on Monday 28th May.
Rachel (63), who lives half a mile away in John Stuart Gait, explained, "She wears a community alarm around her neck and she pressed it.
"It went to the community alarm service and they called me because they couldn't get access - she couldn't get up to get the door.
"The most awful things go through your mind at that time.
"She was just lying in the bathroom and couldn't move and her hip and knee were sore.
"There was a girl there from the community alarm but she didn't touch my mum because she didn't have the equipment to lift her so she called the paramedics."
Rachel claimed the paramedics came but "didn't have a big enough ambulance and it didn't take patients" and they then called 999 around 12pm to request another ambulance.
She added, "It was to be here in an hour but it took four hours - the story was that there was no ambulance available.
"The paramedics stayed with us until about 12pm and made sure she was OK and then we just had to wait to go to hospital to see if she had broken anything."
She said her mum was in pain throughout and the ambulance finally turned up around 3.40pm.
Rachel accompanied her distressed mum in the ambulance but after arriving at A&E around 4.20pm, Mrs Forbes waited another three hours - including an hour to see the triage nurse.
Rachel added, "There were 38 patients in the queue and when we saw the nurse she said, 'So you've overdosed on tablets'.
"I told her, 'No, she had a fall!' She just scratched it out on the form - she should have enquired about that."
It was 7.40pm before Mrs Forbes had an X-ray, which showed she had no broken bones.
But Rachel said, "There was no patient care or communication. This guy comes out and dumps her on a trolley to take her for the X-ray and you didn't know what was happening.
"It must have been very bewildering for her - if I hadn't been there she'd have been even more disorientated.
"She needed the toilet when she was on the trolley and and I asked a male nurse if he could get steps for my mum.
"He said, 'Two minutes', and went off for five-to-10 minutes. I went round the curtain and he was at his computer and said, 'Oops, I forgot'."
Rachel also struggled to get painkillers and food for her mum and after Mrs Forbes was taken to the "freezing" observation unit, staff did not respond to her requests for a blanket and pillow for the bed, she claimed.
Her mum was finally taken home by ambulance at 2.10am, "totally disorientated".
Rachel told the Press, "I'm just relieved she was OK and didn't need to be admitted.
"I thought, if she has to stay in this place I will be the one who'll be ill worrying about it."
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said, "This was not an emergency situation, however, a paramedic was dispatched quickly and undertook a full evaluation of the patient's condition on arrival.
"The paramedic felt that a further examination should be undertaken at hospital and requested an ambulance to transfer the patient.
"We are sorry that the patient had to wait but on a number of occasions ambulances that were en-route to her had to be diverted to serious emergencies."
Of Mrs Forbes' treatment at the Vic, George Cunningham, general manager of the acute division, explained, "All patients in A&E, whether in waiting areas, in cubicles or on trolleys, are under clinical supervision and active treatment is given where clinically required.
"NHS Fife does not comment on the care given to individual patients, however, I can confirm that we are always keen to learn from patients where they feel we could have done better but our patient relations department has not been alerted to these concerns.
"We encourage all patients who have concerns to contact our patient relations department at the earliest opportunity to allow us to investigate their claims and to enable staff to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation."
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Jun 8, 13:18
Jun 8, 16:24
we can shout as loud as we want but no-one on fife health board iis listening to anyone. perfectly good hospital QMH and they still shifted just about everything to kirkcaldy. there is a population explosion taking place in and around dunfermline, the victoria will never cope. in fact they are barely coping now.
Recommend? Yes 34 No 4
Jun 9, 00:01
words fail me on this story about a frail old lady and the action taken it is shocking ,hospital and staff involved should be named and shamed in national newspapers just glad she is ok ,just wonder if she had been a mps mum would she have recieved more prompt service ???
Recommend? Yes 30 No 9
Jun 9, 01:26
Jun 10, 09:22
I understand their situation, and it must have been awful, but at the end of the day, if all the ambulances were being used, then there isn't really much anyone could do. is there ?
Nice shiny ambulances and paramedics don't just miraculously fall out of the sky.
Her injuries were not life threatening, so therefore not an emergency, it's harsh, but it's the way the system works. There has to be a cut-off point somewhere, and unfortunately it seems this lady has fallen on the wrong side of it.
Re her treatment at the hospital, it sounds about average, and pretty much what we'd expect, however we should be careful not to blame the staff involved. They do the best job they can in an underfunded and understaffed service.
They are under a lot of pressure and stress.
While your loved one is important to you, the staff also have another 30 loved ones who are just as important to them, and they just can't do everything at once.
Take it up with your mp and councillor, not the nurses, doctors and porters.
Recommend? Yes 41 No 16
Jun 13, 13:40
What an awful story, but it does not surprise me.
My mother, who has advanced vascular dementia was admitted to the Vic last year with a suspected urine infection, it took approximately 8 hours from admission to actually getting her on to a ward. She was in the hospital for 1 week, and during this time move to three different wards.
The nurses on the last ward she was in thought she had only been in for a day and had no idea she'd been there for a week, no doctor had seen her since admission - she had been forgotten! Her tablets were put in front of her on her table, someone with dementia does not know what to do with them!
I removed her from the hospital, as by the end of the week she looked thoroughly distressed and I thought she would die if I left her there. I appreciate that the staff are overworked, but when I asked for my mother's clothes I was told by the nurse that she had no idea where they were and that she did not like my tone.
My brother and I spoke to a consultant who apologised for the lack of care/treatment received by my mother and encouraged us to make a complaint! We did this and received no response from the hospital. There is no way my mother will ever be taken there again!
Recommend? Yes 21 No 1
Jun 16, 16:38