Wainfleet doctor’s apology over sick teenager

Paul Dudley of Wainfleet, with son Liam Dudley 13, pictured outside outside Wainfleet Surgery. Photo: MSKP-140117-25 ANL-170213-153018001
Paul Dudley of Wainfleet, with son Liam Dudley 13, pictured outside outside Wainfleet Surgery. Photo: MSKP-140117-25 ANL-170213-153018001

Parents of a Wainfleet teenager - who turned out to be seriously ill - have made a complaint over the advice received from their doctor after the boy ended up in hospital.

Mum Michele Dudley said she took 13-year-old Liam to see Dr Abdul Aziz Dhedi at the town’s surgery in August last year, just weeks before the Care Quality Commission (CQC) suspended the surgery’s registration in November over concerns for patient safety.

Paul Dudley of Wainfleet, with son Liam Dudley 13, pictured outside outside Wainfleet Surgery. Photo: MSKP-140117-25 ANL-170213-153018001

Paul Dudley of Wainfleet, with son Liam Dudley 13, pictured outside outside Wainfleet Surgery. Photo: MSKP-140117-25 ANL-170213-153018001

Mrs Dudley said she asked a local pharmacist for a second opinion after the doctor requested they arranged a blood test at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston only to be told it would be two to three weeks.

She said: “On the day we went Liam seemed to be getting worse and was breathless and retching as if he was going to be sick.

“The doctor wanted him to have a blood test but the earliest appointment the receptionist could get at Pilgrim Hospital was on August 31.

“I couldn’t believe my son was so sick and we were expected to wait for a blood test. Even his eyes were yellowy - he was the colour of a Minion.

The clinical picture of an anaemic child who was jaundiced should raise alarm bells.

Dr Andrew Barber, independent clinical advisor

“Instinct told me something was really wrong and we popped into the local pharmacy for a second opinion.

“The locum pharmacist took us into the consultation room and told me I should take my son straight to A&E at Pilgrim Hospital. I called my husband Paul and he took him to Pilgrim. At 4.20pm I got a call from Paul. He was crying and said Liam was in a bad way and they were keeping him overnight.

“Paul was coming home to get some clothes but then got a call saying could he get back quickly as Liam was being transferred to Sheffield Hospital.”

Paul said: “The staff at A&E took one look at Liam and within an hour we were on a ward with doctors round him.

“We were blue-lighted by ambulance to Sheffield. It turned out that Liam had a freak virus and his white blood cells were destroying his red blood cells.”

Wainfleet surgery has closed following the announcement of the partners decision to retire. Lincolnshire East CCG is seeking alternative arrangements for patients served by the surgery.

The Dudley’s complained about the treatment their son received at Wainfleet Surgery to NHS England in October and a spokesman told the Skegness Standard a final response had been sent to the family.

The content of the letter has been revealed to us by the parents. Dr Andrew Barber, an independent clinical advisor to NHS England, wrote: “In my opinion this boy should have been admitted at the consultation.

“The clinical picture of an anaemic child who was jaundiced should raise alarm bells.

“The pharmacist picked up that the child was unwell from looking at him, the history documented in the A&E letter was ‘very pale and breathless’, and the consultant in Sheffield felt it should have been picked up.”

Manjit Darby, director of nursing and quality, wrote: “Your complaint will be referred to our Medical Directorate team to ensure the complaint is discussed during Dr Dhedi’s annual appraisal.”

The Dudley’s were also sent a copy of Dr Abdul Aziz Dhedi’s response by the NHS.

In this Dr Dhedi described Liam as a ‘fit and well boy who has no significant past medical history’.

He said it was ‘obvious to see he was clinically jaundiced and anaemic’.

“He did not however appear short of breath or cyanosed and was completing full sentences without difficulty, therefore a thorough respiratory examination was not done. In hindsight this should have been included for completion. A working diagnosis of jaundice and anaemia was made and urgent blood tests were requested to confirm the diagnosis.”

He adds: “Unfortunately I was not made aware of the two to three week wait for the blood tests and had I known I would have made further arrangements for this to be done urgently. I would like to conclude by apologising to the family for the unfortunate circumstances that unfolded and would like to [ensure]them that every effort will be made in the future to ensure that investigations and treatment are delivered urgently when appropriate,” he concludes.