Our Patient Stories

Below are some of the compliments we have received from patients and carers this year.

Above and beyond their jobs

We received the following message on our Facebook site.

"On Friday my daughter suffered a horrific fall and subsequent femur injury, I myself have issues with agoraphobia. The ambulance arrived and our 2 heroes Paul and Sharon came in and calmed the situation and got me and my girl to hospital. I was a wreck but those two never showed us their fear and stayed with us in A&E until my hubby came. Yesterday they brought my girl pj's as they had to cut hers off and a beautiful card. They are our heroes!! They both went above and beyond their jobs for us and our family would love to see them both recognised for the amazing hard work they do and the wee extras that just make them both heroes!! Thank you Paul and Sharon welcome to our family! We won't ever forget the continuing support. X"

Quick thinking

We received a message on our Facebook site which said

“I would like to send my sincere thanks to two of your paramedics who attend me at home. They were sent via NHS24 for possible meningitis symptoms which I was then admitted to resus for. During this extremely scary time, the two paramedics stayed extremely professional, keeping myself and my family calm while talking us through every step that was to happen. I honestly can't thank them enough for the care they showed me that night. The thought of an ambulance arriving terrified me as I have small children but they were sweet enough to speak to my 6 year old daughter too, in turn keeping her calm. As it is, I am still in hospital being treated for viral meningitis and I honestly believe that the Paramedics quick thinking and starting me on the antibiotics while still in the house made a big difference to my recovery. My consultant agrees the paramedics did their job to the highest level that night.”

Competent, focussed and clear

This week we called 999 for assistance at 2 am.

The operator talked us very competently and clearly through the process of CPR during a time when without such help and the confidence of assistance arriving we would have had a far more difficult experience.

The crews who arrived were incredibly focused and our most sincere thanks must be passed to all those who attended to us that morning.

Particular thanks from us to our " handler" on the phone whos somewhat thankless task took her along our stressful road and she handled us with increadible focus and calm. This input cannot be overestimated in our experience very simply wonderful.

A professionalism which has been exemplary

Professionalism which has been exemplary

We received a message on Patient Opinion which said

"Each paramedic crew have displayed a professionalism which has been exemplary. They all have reassured my dad and me and provided excellent care at all times. On admission to hospital, they explained everything which was happening and continued to be a great help and calming influence."

You can see the full message at https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinions/305510

Professional and compassionate

We have received a message on Patient Opinion which said

“My 4 day old son unfortunately choked on his sick one morning. In much of a panic my husband and I tried to help him but he wasn't catching his breath. I phoned an ambulance where I was greeted with a very professional and compassionate call handler.”

You can see the full message at https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinions/292205

Prompt clinical care and good communication

Helpful in reassuring and calming me

We received some feedback from the wife of a patient about our Patient Transport Service.  She phoned the Patient Transport Service booking line on the day of her husband’s planned admission to a Nursing Home as she was concerned when the transport had not turned up. The booking had been arranged by Social Services. The call handler informed the patient’s wife that the wrong date had been provided by social services and there was no transport arranged for her husband that day. On hearing this, the patient’s wife was distraught and emotional. She said

“The call handler transferred me to a co-coordinator who was really helpful in reassuring me and calming me. A crew was sent out to assess my husband`s mobility and transfer needs and they took him to the Nursing Home. I wish to thank the Scottish Ambulance Service and Patient Transport for all their assistance, not just on that occasion, but for every time my husband has required their assistance."

Thoroughly Professional

A patient sent a letter to Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport about her treatment when she experienced an episode of labyrinthitis, which made her feel dizzy and unwell.  The patient said that she initially called NHS24 who arranged for a Paramedic crew. The crew arrived at the patient’s home and began their observations. The patient said;

‘a Paramedic arrived to carry out numerous checks to make sure I hadn't had a stroke, as my symptoms appeared to suggest. He was so reassuring and thoroughly professional. Satisfied that I hadn't had a stroke they spent some further time checking that I was ok to be left and directed my husband to contact NHS 24 to arrange an out-of-hours appointment with a doctor.’

Excellent Service

The Service has received an email from a patient about her experience of using our Patient Transport Service whilst her husband recovers from a hip operation and is unable to take her to her usual hospital appointments. She said;

“I am very impressed by this excellent service. The different crews I have met have been charming, cheerful and put you at ease. They have carefully got me to my appointments on time and always picked me up within half an hour of them finishing. They have made a pleasure out of a difficult period in my life and I would be very grateful if you could make sure that they see this note of thanks. This is what the NHS is about, I think, at its very best.”

Clinical Care and Compassion

A family recently wrote into the Service to express their thanks for the care of their elderly mother.

The patient was involved in a car accident in the South East of Scotland. The accident was caused by undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation, which caused her to become suddenly unconscious. The family wrote in saying,

“we would like to pass on our thanks and gratitude to the crew who took care of her that day. Both of them were helpful, kind and professional in a situation where our mum was confused and scared.”

The Paramedic and Technician which attended the incident showed a high level of clinical care and compassion. The patient is making a good recovery. 

Working Together

The Service would like to share a story of effective multi agency partnership working during a major incident in Aberdeen.

The Service received a call from our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service about a fire at a multi story block of flats in the Torry area of Aberdeen. On arrival it was reported that nine of the 13 floors of the building were filled with smoke, with staff from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the process of evacuating residents. A total of 21 patients, including a three month old baby, were treated by our staff, with three of them being transported to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the baby being transported to the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

During the incident the Ambulance Control Centre coordinated the resources and liaised with Aberdeen Royal Infirmary about the progress of the incident and the potential for 21 patients being conveyed to hospital. After the incident, the Medical Team in charge at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary praised the communication they received from the Ambulance Control Centre with the lead Consultant describing it as:

"fantastic work"

This incident shows the importance of partnership working across all the agencies in Scotland.

Making the Right Clinical Decision

The Service often receives feedback through Facebook. This time a carer wrote on Facebook about the care their partner had received from the Service on two occasions in the last six months, from the same Crew. 

On the first occasion, she called 999 when her partner started vomiting blood (haematemesis). Our Paramedic and Technician arrived at the patient’s house, finding him in a location in the house where it would be difficult to transfer him to the ambulance. Knowing that they needed to get the patient to hospital as quickly as possible due to his deteriorating condition, the Crew decided that they needed help and called for backup. A Paramedic Team Leader, with a Technician, arrived and helped transfer the patient to an ambulance to take him to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The partner says that

“she was told by staff at Ninewells Hospital that if the patient had not been treated for another half an hour he would not have made it”.

Unfortunately, the patient had a relapse and an ambulance was called again. The same Crew responded to the call and quickly transferred him to Ninewells Hospital. The patient’s partner said

“my partner has a long fight ahead but with the thanks of the ambulance service he is still with us to do the fight”. 

A Vital Lifeline

The Service recently received a phone call from a patient which highlights the importance of our Air Ambulance Service to patients who live in rural locations.

The patient, who lives in Argyll, collapsed in his home, when he started suffering from the initial effects of a cardiac arrest. He managed to call 999, which was answered by one of our Call Takers at our West Ambulance Control Centre. A Paramedic and Technician responded to the call. After stabilising the patient, he was taken to Cowal Community Hospital. The nearest hospital able to provide the necessary specialist treatment was the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, so Helimed 5 was dispatched from Glasgow to convey the patient. The patient was treated on board the helicopter by two Paramedics with Helimed 5.

After receiving a stent at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, the patient has made a full recovery. He says that,

“the Doctors at the Royal Jubilee National Hospital told me that I just made it. I would not be sitting here if it had not been for the Air Ambulance”.

Listening to our Patients

A patient emailed the Service with her experience after being treated at home following a panic/anxiety attack, here is her story.

The patient began to feel unwell at home, feeling nauseous, dizzy and faint. She called NHS24 who sent an Ambulance Crew to the patient’s home address. The patient says that during initial observations she shared the news that her and her husband had recently been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. The patient states; ‘until saying those words I hadn’t realised just how upset I really was, trying to remain positive and be hopeful all the time I was completely unaware of the heartfelt sadness, and aloneness that came suddenly came to light. The Crew said it was perfectly natural to be struggling with this issue and talked to me about it. It was reassuring to hear medical professionals tell me that it was ok to be feeling this way.’

The patient was treated for low blood glucose levels, with our Paramedic Crew remaining with her until she had eaten and her blood glucose levels had risen. The patient continues to say,

"deep down I felt like I was bothering them, but they said to not think about it, to just call and they would be here if I fell unwell again. The Crew were so professional, reassuring and caring to me. I am forever grateful for their help and I will never forget how truly scared I was and how much better I was when they left."

Quick Actions

A compliment recently demonstrates the importance of our Patient Transport Service staff working closely with our A&E staff. The Service received an email from the daughter of a patient thanking two of our Ambulance Care Assistants from Edinburgh City Station for their quick actions, clinical skills and experience when her mother was due to be taken to Liberton Hospital at the request of her GP. On arrival, the Care Assistants realised that her mother’s condition was more serious than appeared at first. They requested A&E assistance quickly and the patient was treated and conveyed to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh for immediate treatment.

Saving a Young Boy's Life

In July this year the Service received a letter from the family of a three-year old boy who was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia earlier.

Despite receiving the meningitis C vaccination, he suddenly fell ill at home with a fever and overnight his condition deteriorated rapidly. His parents called 999 with two Paramedics attending to him. Our Paramedics quickly identified that he was presenting symptoms of meningitis, administered clinical care and quickly conveyed him to A&E at Forth Valley hospital. He then spent over two weeks in intensive care at Edinburgh’s Sick Children’s hospital where the staff told his parents that it was the ‘quick reaction’ from the Paramedics that saved their son’s life.

The little boy is now well on the road to recovery with his parents stating,

"your dedication and professionalism – which was very evident – helped save his life and as a result he has had a fantastic outcome considering how very ill he was. If it wasn’t for your quick reaction in identifying he had meningitis the outcome would have been very different."

Although the young boy is still receiving treatment for the lesions on his arms and legs, he is back at nursery and back to his happy bouncy self. 

Saving Lives

The Service recently received a compliment from the family of a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest whilst in Edinburgh visiting their son. The patient began feeling unwell and subsequently collapsed. His wife dialled 999 with the call being answered by our Call Taker in our East Ambulance Control Centre. Our Call Taker immediately began instructing the patient’s wife on how to administer CPR, with this continuing until further help arrived. First on scene were one of our Paramedics and Technicians, who took over the CPR and successfully stabilised the patient before conveying him to hospital. The patient has since made a full recovery with his wife saying,

“The expert instructions from the 999 operator and the swift response time, along with the excellent care from the Paramedics undoubtedly saved his life! Words cannot express our appreciation!”

Giving us feedback


The Scottish Ambulance Service welcomes and encourages Feedback, Comments and Concerns from our patients on the services that we deliver. Find out how you can give us feedback.