Seriously ill mum ‘nearly died’ after medical receptionist told her to sit back down
A Nottingham mum says she nearly died after a medical centre receptionist mistook her rare condition for her being drunk.
Mum of two Janine Merryweather, 30, ended up spending two weeks in Queen’s Medical Centre after collapsing at the Platform One out-of-hours medical service in Nottingham city centre.
An apology has been made to the Gedling resident by the service, who say there are “clear lessons to be learned”.
Janine, a carer, had called ahead to the centre to let them know she would be attending, as she suffers from rare condition Addison’s disease which leaves her body unable to regulate levels of hormones, leaving her prone to dizziness and fainting.
But on arrival, she says she was told to wait to be seen despite her urgent medical condition and claims a request for an ambulance was refused.
She eventually collapsed in reception at the Station Street centre just after midnight on Tuesday, January 10, and was later diagnosed with blood poisoning during her fortnight at QMC.
Now discharged and recovering at home, Janine told the Post: “I nearly died.
“I had been ill in the night so I rang the centre. As I’m on rapid response, they said come down to be seen straight away.”When I got there I overheard someone say there was a three-and-a-half hour wait, and I spoke to the receptionist and she said rudely to sit down as there were people in front of me.”I then said can you ring me an ambulance which she refused, and I then collapsed in the reception.”The nurses rang an ambulance and I was rushed straight to hospital.”
Janine says she understands her condition can be easily confused for drinking or drugs due to symptoms like the slurring of speech, confusion and dizziness – which is why she had phoned ahead.
But despite complaining to the out of hours service she fears a similar situation could happen in the future.
She said: “I rang up and said I was unhappy with the service, but I’ve had no reassurance I won’t be treated the same if I go back again.
“I’m fuming to be honest. Nobody should be allowed to refuse an ambulance.”
A spokesperson for NEMS Community Benefit Services Limited, the organisation which operates the service, said: “We reiterate our apologies to Mrs Merryweather that she was not seen by a clinician sooner when she became ill at the GP out of hours treatment centre.
“Although we are not able to discuss details of Mrs Merryweather’s complaint due to patient confidentiality, we recognise that there are clear lessons to be learned around helping staff to spot signs that patients are deteriorating.”We will be providing staff with further support to ensure that they call a doctor or nurse earlier when a patient presents signs of needing urgent attention in the waiting area.”We would encourage Mrs Merryweather to contact NEMS again in order to discuss any concerns she has around her treatment and the lessons learned from her experience.”
Source :Nottingham Post