A 23-stone patient has claimed that the NHS contractors handling his transportation to a hospital dropped him from his wheelchair. The patient said that when he fell out of the wheelchair, the ambulance crew did not make an effort to pick him up or enquire about his wellbeing.
The 62-year-old patient, Robert Wiley, was being shuttled from his home to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon for an appointment. He said that he feared that the crew would have left him on the ground. His son helped him back onto the wheelchair. The patient also stated that the pain from the fall started about an hour after the fall and he was amazed that the NHS contractors did not think of taking him to casualty for a check-up.
While the ambulance crew did apologise, it was not enough for the patient. He has already filed an official complaint with E-zec Medical Transport Services, which is responsible for providing ambulances for the NHS and several other private hospitals and firms. He took this step after the pain from the fall did not allow him to sleep.
An E-zec spokesperson stated that the company is investigating the incident. The company stated that it is using a third-party service provider and said that it uses private ambulance companies when there is a surge in demand. However, the spokesperson also clarified that the contractor was approved and therefore E-zec is waiting for the incident report to decide on the next course of action.
The patient stated that while he was strapped into a wheelchair that was designed for obese people, the ambulance crew did not show any empathy when he fell off it. This raises concerns for other patients’ safety, and he hopes that the NHS contractor takes measures to ensure optimal patient safety. He also pointed out that when South Western Ambulance Service transported him for his previous hospital appointments, he always received a great service.