Anger after five hour wait for doctor

A FELIXSTOWE couple were fuming today after waiting more than five hours for a visit from a doctor.Eve Dewen called the Suffolk Doctors on Call out of hours scheme after she started suffering breathing difficulties.

A FELIXSTOWE couple were fuming today after waiting more than five hours for a visit from a doctor.

Eve Dewen called the Suffolk Doctors on Call out of hours scheme after she started suffering breathing difficulties.

The service asked if she could be taken to hospital but her husband Charles said she had walking problems and a chest infection and was too ill to move.

The couple were then told to wait for a doctor to call on them.


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Mr Dewen, 70 of Kingsfleet Road, Felixstowe said: “We first rang them at about 10.30am on Sunday morning and it wasn't until after 3.30pm when a doctor finally arrived.

“I never believed it would take that long to get a doctor to my wife - it is absolutely appalling and I am disgusted.

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“We rang a couple of times to see where the doctor was and were told the first time he was en route, which wasn't the case, and the second time that they were very busy and we would have to wait.

“The doctor who came was excellent and very helpful, but I just cannot believe we had to wait so long. If it had been a parent with a young child they would have been going frantic.”

Mrs Dewen, 77, who lives at The Firs residential home, Grange Road, Felixstowe, was suffering from emphysema and chronic obstruction of her airways. The GP gave her medication, but the next day she had to be admitted to Ipswich Hospital after her condition worsened.

Mr Dewen said: “Thankfully, Simon Manning, the manager at the home, realised Eve was not well at all and was not prepared to wait and see when a doctor came - he called 999 and they took her straight into hospital. I cannot praise him enough.”

Dr James Kennedy, medical director for the doctors' service, said: “Mrs Dewen called the out-of-hours service at 10.18am on Sunday morning and as with all calls spoke to a GP who made a clinical assessment of Mrs Dewen's condition.

“An appointment was made for her at the Felixstowe out-of-hours base at 11am. However, Mr Dewen called back to insist on a home visit. The appointment was cancelled and the case transferred to the home visit list.

“Out-of-hours providers must ensure patients with routine home visits are seen within six hours and Mrs Dewen was seen well within this time.

“Our aim is to provide high quality care for patients. Although Mrs Dewen was seen within the specified period, I can understand that this could have been a worrying time for the Dewens.”

Have you had to wait long for a Suffolk Doctors on Call GP to arrive? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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