When you have a sudden cardiac arrest it’s quite likely you know nothing about it or the people who helped you survive. Finding out about what happened and who helped you can be a real positive step on the road to recovery and additionally it can be a real reward for the people who saved you, especially as it’s quite likely they won’t know what happened to you once you left their care.
Where to start
The UK is divided up into a number of ambulance services and in most cases of a sudden cardiac arrest you will have been dealt with by the ambulance service that covers the area you were in when your event happened. To locate the ambulance service you require click on the image below.
Who to contact
All of the ambulance services should have at least a contact form on their website and quite often there is a page for a Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS).
Links for each ambulance service website can be found here
What will I need?
You’ll need to provide them with details of your full name, home address, date, time and location of your event. It’s likely that you’ll have to back these up with some form of id such as a copy of your passport/driving license and proof of your address.
From this they should be able to provide you with a detailed record and timeline of what happened, who (medical professionals) was there and what treatment was given to you. Note that names will be redacted.
If you wish to meet your saviours you can ask to do so and this can usually be arranged if the staff involved are happy to do so. Some ambulance services have special prearranged days where patients and staff get to meet, but I would imagine private meetings are also accommodated. If you were attended by a helicopter service it’s also quite possible that the ambulance service will pass you on to them and they can provide similar link up services but with the addition of having the HEMS team there (they are not usually part of the ambulance service – they are separate charities).
It’s worth re-iterating that meeting your saviours can be a win-win situation, in that it can help you get closure on your event and also help the saviours realise what a fantastic job they do.
If you wish to hear your 999 call you can also request it as per instructions above. Be aware that listening to a 999 call can be quite an emotional and distressing experience – not just for you, but also the person making the call. Remember that are in the middle of an extremely traumatic situation and may well be in a state of shock and maybe panicking.
I believe these calls are generally kept for up to 2 years, but confirmation is required on this.
If you don’t get what you want from the ambulance service or you feel that not of the information is being revealed to you you could always try a freedom of information request.