Boy, 4, lucky to be alive after misdiagnosis at troubled surgery

Edward 4 nearly died after being misdiagnosed by the doctors in Staveley. Ruth Dahill and Ian Baker.
Edward 4 nearly died after being misdiagnosed by the doctors in Staveley. Ruth Dahill and Ian Baker.

A four-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after being misdiagnosed by doctors working for a troubled Chesterfield medical group.

GPs at both Rectory Road Medical Centre in Staveley and Inkersall Health Centre - part of the Holywell Medical group - told Ruth Dahill her son Edward had a tummy bug, despite the youngster being constantly sick and writhing in pain.

Worried parents Ruth, 39 and Ian Baker, 40, of Longshaw Close Staveley, were eventually forced to call the emergency services and Edward was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with a burst appendix which had become infected and gangrenous.

Doctors said Edward’s appendix had burst several days earlier.

Ruth said: “We were sitting by his bed and there really was a moment when I thought we were going to lose him.” Edward has been left with a ‘pocket of puss’ near his bladder which still causes him pain four weeks on and Ruth said she no longer trusts the surgeries.

She added: “I want assurances that this won’t happen again. If it had been treated to start with, Edward might not have had to spend a week in hospital. We feel he has been robbed of his Christmas.”

This week Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins called on the medical group to take action after a flood of complaints from residents - and a doctor has spoken out warning that ‘lives are being put at risk’.

Locum doctor Nicholas Bulmer, who works for Holywell, said the group’s eight doctors were having to deal with around 3,000 patients each - almost double recommended Royal College guidelines.

He said: “Quite simply there aren’t enough doctors. Before Christmas I saw 60 patients a day during eight hours of solid surgery. You try and deal with patients as time effectively as possible but people are being rushed through.”

A spokesman for NHS England said: “It is clear from a number of sources that for some time the Holywell Medical Group has not been meeting all patient expectations or consistently providing thehigh quality primary care that NHS England would expect.” An improvement plan has been put in place which includes changing the appointment system and launching a new practice website.

NHS England did not comment on the surgery’s lack of doctors but said they will continue to keep “close scrutiny” of the practice.