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Urgent care services - comments welcome

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007

The Healthcare Commission is planning a review of the quality of urgent care services. It will focus on:
· Primary care services (in hours and out of hours)
· Ambulance services
· Accident and emergency services
· Minor injury units and walk in centres.

The Commission is seeking the views of service users and carers on urgent care services. If you would like to share your experiences or have any points that you would like raised in the review, then do please contact me. For example:

· What experiences do you have of using these types of services?
· Are you aware of the services available?
· Did you receive the help or treatment you needed quickly and effectively?
· What problems do you think need to be addressed?

You can post your comments here, or do please contact me directly at louise.lakey@alzheimers.org.uk

Many thanks for your help,
Louise Lakey
Policy officer


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Louise

Is the survey just for England? I have experiences of emergency services, but don't know if they would be relevant as I'm in Scotland.

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Hello Hazel,
Thank you for your message. The review is for England, but your experiences would also be very valuable and I'd really appreciate your thoughts. This would help to give me an idea of the general problems that are out there.
Many thanks, Louise


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
I've had to call on emergency service three times in the last three years.

The first two were for me -- internal bleeding. I had to ring NHS24, as it was night time. Both times I was put straight through to the triage nurse, and an ambulance was called immediately -- and came within 20 minutes.

I found A&E very helpful, no long waits, staff very couretous and sympathetic to the fact that John couldn't give any information. The first time I was admitted to a ward, the second time sent home after treatment. Excellent treatment on both occasions.

The third time was a couple of weeks ago when John had a fall outside. The ambulance had been called by the binmen before I even got there, and arrived promptly. His treatment in A&E was again excellent. He was called 'sir' by both doctors and nurses. My only wry comment was that the doctor advised me to bring him straight back if he appeared at all confused!

No complaints at all about our treatment -- but we do live in a town, close to hospital and ambulance services. I believe things are different if you live in the country.

The treatment we received in A&E was far better than is often the case in general wards.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Lost count of the number of times I had to call the paramedics out to Lionel, but have just found 15 attendance reports for the last 4 weeks he was at home, (there may have been others).

Ambulance always arrived within 20 mins. On quite a few occassions they did a full ECG on their portable machine. It got to the stage where I would forestall them starting treatment, would hand them Lionel's full medication chart, and declined the inevitable question "would you like him to go to hospital"

I always felt guilty, as only once in the last 2 years was I ever worried about him, it was just that I could not lift this man from the floor back into bed.
I was always treated curteously, and never made to feel a nuisance.
With their help I kept my lovely man 'at home' a lot longer than anticipated.

Hope this helps.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Are you primarily or solely interested in responses that relate to care of dementia patients? Or is that a silly question, given that this is an AS forum and you work for the AS Louise? :confused:

Also, what is the time limit for replies?


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Louise
On one occasion I rang 999 and asked for help.
Peg had decided to sit half way up the stairs and I could not lift her.
A technician arrived who was not much help,he left and two paramedics arrived.male and female.
They were birilliant and spent 2 hours coaxing peg to stand up.
They were kind and helpful and advised me to ring if ever we needed help


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
When she fell in the front garden, luckily neighbours picked her up and called for an ambulance, paramedic took her to her nearest hospital, then found they'd changed the rules, no over 70's, so had to take her to A & E in another hospital about an hour away, she wasn't seriously hurt, they kept her in overnight and she was glad to get home next day.

When she went and sat at the bottom of the garden on a damp frosty night she herself decided to press her red button when she had had enough and a neighbour came round and picked her up and phoned for an ambulance, on that occasion my mother had gone back to bed before he arrived and after checking her over he agreed with her she didn't need to go to hospital that time.

When she fell in the road (when she went off to the pub in her nightie after dark) and nearly got run over, again someone phoned for an ambulance and she was taken to A & E for another overnight stay, again no serious injury and they sent her home next day.

I don't know enough about her condition when my brother decided to take her to A & E on the 30th April, they had a long wait because it was a Bank Holiday weekend, A & E kept her in overnight, then transferred her to the long-stay hospital where she was supposed to stay for a month to be built up, and where she died a few days later.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Louise.

One of the Services I have found invaluable is NHS Direct. It is my first port of call if I have any cause for concern, and I have always had constructive responses.

Have called on Ambulance service twice, and in both cases they arrived quickly.

1: Following call to GP re concern over husband`s breathing. GP suggested calling ambulance for A&E for chest Xray . Paramedics gave him oxygen in ambulance and conducted tests prior to taking him to A&E. Once in A&E he was Xrayed, put on Nebulizer, found to have chest infection and given antibiotics.

Only complaint, he was in pyjamas and dressing gown, in the middle of December, and would have had to wait a long time for an ambulance to take him home. Phoned son, but as he was so weak [husband] it was n`t satisfactory transfering him from the hospital into the car.

2: Ambulance called by neighbour when he fell, coming home after a walk. Again ambulance service excellent.
Husband had broken Humerus. We were in A&E from 5pm until 1am. I don`t understand why it had to be such a long time.
Had to take a taxi home, with traumatised husband with broken arm in sling only.

3: Attendance at Fracture Clinic OK treatment.

4: Attendance for Physio, unsuccessful, as husband didn`t understand what was expected of him.

Louise Lakey

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Thank you very much for all your comments everyone. These are really helpful to me. It is great to see what things services are doing well and where things need to be improved.

Brenda - thank you for your enquiry. I am really interested in services for people with dementia, as the Healthcare Commission have asked us as an organisation to respond on behalf of people with dementia and their carers. I am attending a meeting on the 25th June, so it would be great to have comments a few days in advance of this so that I can pull them all together.

Many thanks for all your help everyone.


Registered User
Jul 19, 2005
Well good and bad

1. 999 ambulance he wasn't diagnoised at the time but was getting tests severe asthma attack crew were great and assisting with them as well

2. 999 ambulance this time seizure lasting 11mins again i was very involved assisting again

3. Hospital admission from above again i was very involved and assisting in hospital

4. Different hospital no information about medication what they are doing etc. Changes in his condition, or care needs