A 999 Emergency Nightmare

On Tuesday night I had an ambulance called out to me at home and was taken into hospital.  This has become a fairly regular occurrence and will have been the 5th or 6th time for me in a matter of months. This blog post is about my opinions on the NHS service, ambulance response time and A&E. These are only my opinions but they are based on my own experiences within the past year. If you do not want to read negative thoughts about the national health service I advise you not to read on!

Tuesday wasn't an overly bad day, I did collapse in the doctor's waiting room (embarrassing!) and had to be carried out to the car but other than that I wouldn't say it was any different from a normal day. Tuesday evening was a normal night for me, I got myself into bed and then that's when the problem began. I was suddenly in an awful lot of pain which was making me scream in agony, and trying to get myself to the toilet was impossible and I collapsed on the landing. My dad could hear me struggling and saw me in a heap on the floor and tried to comfort me and help me get back into bed. This overwhelming pain is not a one off thing, and the collapsing has begun to happen almost everyday, several times a day.

It has been over 2 weeks now since I was told by my GP that I would need urgent referral to see a neurologist again, and since I was told I would hear from somebody within a few days as my situation is now one to be classed as urgent. This is one of the reasons my dad took it upon himself to call for help. Ideally he wanted a GP to come out to me to see me at my worst because a lot of the time if the doctor doesn't actually see me when I am feeling particually bad they don't take it seriously, but they sent out a paramedic.

The paramedic gave me gas and air to help ease the pain, which it did but not completely. Also taking into consideration my other symptoms he felt it was necessary for me to go into A&E so called for an ambulance.

This leads me to the important part of this blog post:

I don't know if it is by coincidence that only today on my local news there was a story about ambulance response time, and it could well be that it is only a problem in my local area, although I highly doubt it.
Fair enough I was not having a heart attack, a stroke, or in a life threatening situation where I required transport immediately  but I still don't think the 2 hour wait was at all acceptable. I needed care that the paramedic could not give me. In the end I didn't even have an ambulance come out, instead I sat in the back of the paramedics car with my dad having to drive behind because there was no room for a relative.

The stories on my local news included a gentleman who was having a heart attack who had to wait an hour before help arrived, and another gentleman who had been involved in a motorbike accident and was at high risk of dying. In the end he had to be driven to hospital by his brother. If they would've waited any longer both would have died. This is completely unacceptable.

Once I actually got to the hospital I was faced with yet more reasons to feel like the NHS service is letting us down. A part of me feels quite bad about bad mouthing the NHS, but for me personally I have not been very happy with the service I have been given throughout the past year and I have just about had enough of it.
The Doctor that was working in A&E that night came in to see me, asked me a couple of questions and with that said 'Go home and see your doctor this week' The same thing I have been told every single time I have gone into A&E. But the question on my mind and my families mind is where does the responsibility lay if I was to collapse and seriously injure myself? It's only a matter of time before this happens right? Also, if my doctor has done all she can and now I am in the hands of specialists what is going back to her really going to accomplish? I will most likely be told that she will get in touch with the specialists that I should have already seen and in the meantime I continue to suffer and just hope nothing serious happens. The A&E doctor's very own words were "If I was to admit Hayley into hospital my superiors would kill me" and what would happen if (worse case scenario) something was to happen to me such as a fall in the wrong place at the wrong time, a bad fit? or a bad case of any of my symptoms and it killed me? It could happen - especially with my case becoming worse by the day.

I've heard far too many stories in the news recently of people going into hospital and within hours, days or weeks after have died because they were told they were 'ok' One story involved a man in his 50's coughing up blood. He was sent home only hours after going into A&E and sadly passed away the next day. Also a very young child with meningitis, the doctors failed to notice vital symptoms and the mother was told the baby had swine flu - again was sent home, and died only hours later. These are just the first examples that spring to mind but I know there are many more cases where the damage became irreversible.

My point is, when does enough become enough? What is an acceptable time to wait before an ambulance arrives? How long does a person have to be unwell for before one doctor (because that's all it takes) says no to the system and despite them not holding the 'main problem areas to be considered for hospital admittance' gives an individual adequate care?

I do feel that if I spent a week in hospital they would actually see what I live with and see that I do need help, because spending an hour at the most with a chronic illness sufferer is not enough time to get an accurate judgement of that persons illness and needs, and I am sure the families of the people who have passed away due to a lack of appropriate examinations and essentially appropriate care agree that if a person can't get past the front door how can the exit door ever be crossed?


  1. Whoa. Two hours to wait for an ambulance?? To me, that is completely unacceptable. They should have been there within like 15 minutes, in my opinion. Two hours?? My goodness. That's crazy.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. It is isn't it. Not good at all! I am looking to place a complaint because people are at serious risk, and after 2 hours the paramedic with me resorted to driving me himself in his rapid response car and he had to move quite a lot of equipment to make room for me!

  2. This sounds awful. I hope you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need soon. My advice would be to keep on at your GP, persistence is sometimes the only method to get noticed. It can be tough because some of the medical profession can make you feel like you are time wasting and that there is nothing wrong with you. But stay strong and you will get there in the end.

    I had similar experiences before I was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but I am finally on the road to treatment. I will keep up to date with your blog and hope that this gets sorted soon.



  3. Girl I hope you feel better and get up healthy again x


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