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Munro Medical Centre, Spalding, is challenged over procedures after claims that a carer for a patient with "chest pains and heart palpitations' had to call for an ambulance




A Spalding surgery is at the centre of a storm after claims that staff refused to summon an ambulance for a patient with a heart complaint.

Munro Medical Centre has been challenged over its emergency procedures after a 33-year-old man was brought into the surgery because of "chest pains and heart palpitations".

The man was eventually taken to Boston's Pilgrim Hospital on Tuesday, 50 minutes after he and carer Naty Cruz arrived at Munro where she asked for urgent medical attention.

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

In its response, Munro claimed that its staff found no evidence that the patient had a heart condition which would have required emergency treatment.

Ms Cruz, a property manager for a private landlord who lives in Livingstone Drive, Spalding, said: "A tenant of mine rang me at about 1pm on Tuesday and said that he was having chest pains and heart palpitations.

"I went to his house in Dias Close, off Livingstone Drive in Spalding, where the patient told me what his symptoms were.

"I was fearful that it was a possible heart attack, but I also knew that if I called for an ambulance, it could take a long time to come.

Munro Medical Centre's practice manager Debbie Herd, lead partner Dr Graham Wheatley and operations manager Lisa Jones. Photo (TIM WILSON): 011019-6
Munro Medical Centre's practice manager Debbie Herd, lead partner Dr Graham Wheatley and operations manager Lisa Jones. Photo (TIM WILSON): 011019-6

"So I decided to take him to Munro Medical Centre because it was the nearest place where someone could help him.

"Also, I thought it may have a defibrillator and staff could help him."

Ms Cruz claimed that herself and the patient, who asked not to be named, were seen just after 1.30pm by a Munro receptionist who booked an appointment for 3.20pm the same day.

"I pleaded with the receptionist to call for an ambulance but was told that I had to do it myself," Ms Cruz said.

"So I asked the receptionist for help once again when my tenant started to feel very strange.

"A nurse came out and said: 'I'm sorry but you have to call for the ambulance as we don't have the patient's medical records'.

"So after calling for the ambulance myself at 1.37pm, I just broke down in tears because I felt so helpless."

East Midlands Ambulance Service.
East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Ms Cruz claimed that when she called East Midlands Ambulance Service and told them where she and the patient where, the person who took the call was "quite surprised to hear that she was in a surgery".

She said: "When the patient got to Pilgrim Hospital, they did all the tests and he received wonderful care and attention.

"But whatever the reasons were, Munro Medical Centre has to explaining why its receptionist and nurse both refused to help the patient."

Dr Graham Wheatley, practice partner for Munro, said: "On Tuesday, April 2, at about 1.30pm, a man not registered at our practice presented himself at reception with symptoms that have been going on for over a week.

"We immediately agreed to see him and offered him an appointment within two hours.

Munro Medical Centre's practice manager Debbie Herd, lead partner Dr Graham Wheatley and operations manager Lisa Jones. Photo (TIM WILSON): 011019-9
Munro Medical Centre's practice manager Debbie Herd, lead partner Dr Graham Wheatley and operations manager Lisa Jones. Photo (TIM WILSON): 011019-9

"The friend who was with him was certain that he needed an ambulance response.

"However, we disagreed but she rang for an ambulance anyway and he was taken to Pilgrim Hospital where staff agreed with our earlier assessment and discharged him later that day.

"I can confirm that the hospital assessment found no evidence of a heart complaint and a separate condition that was not major, nor an emergency, was assessed instead.

"In any event, we would advise anyone not currently registered at a practice to do so as this would allow us to help without unnecessarily disrupting the care of other patients.

"We would also ask people to think carefully before ringing 999 for an emergency ambulance and consider asking for and taking our advice, or that of the 111 service, to avoid ambulances being used unnecessarily and therefore being unavailable for other patients who do have emergencies."

. What do you think? Email your letters to spalding.editor@iliffepublishing.co.uk



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