‘They were so rude and abrupt’

A DISGUSTED Gainsborough mother said her son was left in agony after receiving ‘appalling treatment’ from an NHS helpline.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th June 2012, 11:07 am

Alison Nicholls, 32, of The Green, called the 111 service, when son Cane, eight, started experiencing pain a few days after an operation.

The mother of four said the ‘dismissive’ response received from the advisor only added to Cane’s distress.

“My 19-year-old step-daughter Jade rang 111 as I was having to look after Cane because he was in so much pain,” she said.

“The man on the phone kept asking us to get a neighbour to take him to hospital but we are new to the area and don’t know anyone.”

“He then said ‘goodbye and good luck’ before slamming the phone down. I thought it was utterly disgusting.”

Single mother of four Alison said she knew something was wrong when Cane’s stiches started to come out on the evening of Sunday 27th May.

“He had only just gone through a distressing enough operation and he was in so much pain,” she said.

“It was late on Sunday night so I thought we would try the 111 service to see if they could offer any help or advice.”

Alison said the advisor’s ‘dismissive’ tone was what upset her the most.

“As a single mother of four I couldn’t afford the taxi fare to take him to hospital in Scunthorpe or Lincoln,” she said.

“But it was less the fact they couldn’t provide an ambulance for him and more the fact he was so abrupt when there was no need for him to be like that.”

“The 111 service is there to help people. If he’s done this to someone else I just want them to know they are not alone.”

She added: “I rang my doctors the following day and they were very helpful.”

“Cane is better now but what happened has set him back a bit.”

Dr Martin McShane, NHS Lincolnshire director of strategic planning and health outcomes said they were committed to improving health services and use patient feedback to make any necessary changes to improve care.

“Research shows us that 92 per cent of callers from Lincolnshire are very satisfied or fairly satisfied with 111 so we are very sorry to hear the caller was unhappy with their experience,” he said.

“We are unable to comment on individual cases but would ask the caller to contact us directly to discuss their experiences so can fully investigate their concerns.”

He added: “Callers to the 111 service will have their needs and symptoms assessed by a team of highly-trained advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses.”

“Wherever possible, the NHS 111 team will transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to such as the GP out of hours service, local walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, community nursing team or emergency dentist.”