Ipswich: Woman struggling to breathe and fearing for life after insect bite refused treatment at Orchard Medical Practice - because she was not registered

Improvements to ambulance handover times have been cautiously welcomed

Improvements to ambulance handover times have been cautiously welcomed - Credit: Archant

A woman who feared for her life when she said an insect bite left her struggling to breathe has criticised a doctor’s surgery for refusing to treat her.

Nina Beech, of Coronation Road, Ipswich, was taken to Ipswich Hospital in an ambulance after being refused treatment at Orchard Medical Practice when she reacted badly to a suspected bee sting.

She says staff at the town centre surgery told her she was not registered with them and therefore could not be seen by a doctor.

The 28-year-old said she pleaded with the receptionist and the surgery manager to be seen by an emergency doctor as she was struggling to breathe but was still turned away.

A friend called 999 and paramedics took Ms Beech, who was sat in the GP’s waiting room, to A&E at Ipswich Hospital where she was put on a drip. She said doctors advised her to stay overnight after treating her, but Ms Beech went home as her parents were returning from holiday.


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An Orchard Medical Practice spokesman said he was “sorry” Ms Beech felt she did not receive the care she felt she deserved during the incident on August 30, explaining the practice could not treat “non-emergency, non-registered patients on a walk-in basis”.

But Ms Beech, a chef at Endeavour House, said: “They didn’t even call for an ambulance. It’s not on. They should have seen me. I believe it was an emergency. I could hardly breathe or concentrate. I thought I was dying.

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“My face swelled up and I got worse and worse. My friend helped me get to the nearest surgery, which was Orchard Medical Practice, but they turned me away.”

An Orchard Medical Practice spokesman said: “While patient confidentiality means we cannot discuss individual cases we hope that Ms Beech is feeling better. We are sorry she feels she did not receive the care she deserved.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this situation with Ms Beech.

“Like other GP practices we cannot treat non-emergency, non-registered patients on a walk-in basis as we are already delivering care to patients registered with our practice. Instead we would ensure a patient was given the most appropriate advice on where to go for treatment. All GPs and staff at the Orchard Medical Practice are committed to delivering the best level of care.”

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