Dad’s anger at troubled medical group after tragic death

A devastated father says his daughter may be still be alive if GPs at Holywell Medical Centre had not repeatedly dismissed her symptoms.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th February 2014, 8:10 am
Clive and Elaine Wholey holding picture of daughter Victoria who died of cancer.
Clive and Elaine Wholey holding picture of daughter Victoria who died of cancer.

Clive Wholey’s daughter Victoria Liggatt died last week from cancer which had spread throughout her body - but had gone undetected by doctors at the troubled medical centre.

Last week the Derbyshire Times revealed the surgery was under-fire following a flood of complaints from patients and locum doctor Nicholas Bulmer warned lives were being put at risk.

Mr Wholey, 72, of Dade Avenue, Inkersall said he was now fighting for justice for Victoria.

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He added: “We can’t understand how this has happened. If it had been looked in to I believe she would still be alive. The whole family is very angry.”

Ms Liggatt, 42, of Middlecroft, Staveley, had breast cancer in 2011.

Mr Wholey said following her treatment Victoria was not referred for check-ups and last August the mum-of-one began to feel ill again.

Mr Wholey added: “She was suffering shortness of breath and a cough. She went to the GPs several times.”

The cancer had in fact returned and in the six months she had been going to her GPs in Staveley and Inkersall, it spread to her bones, lungs and heart.

Last month Ms Liggatt went to accident and emergency at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and a visiting doctor from Weston Park Hospital carried out a scan.

Mr Wholey said: “The doctor looked at the scan and found Victoria was full of cancer.

“He said she had been let down and was disappointed with the NHS.”

He added: “She just burst in to tears.”

Ms Liggatt was given three weeks to live. She died on February 5.

Mr Wholey said he and wife Elaine, 65, are now supporting Victoria’s 18-year-old son Daniel.

He added: “She was a very happy person with hundreds of friends. She was well liked.”

The family is making an official complaint to the surgery and their case has been taken up by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Mr Perkins said: “Last week a doctor said lives could be lost and the sad fact is we now have a family who will always wonder if her life could have been saved if a different service had been provided.”

A spokesman for Holywell Medical Group said: “We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family at such a difficult time. We can confirm that we are carrying out a full investigation and until this has been completed we are not in a position to say anything further.”

A spokesman for NHS England Derbyshire added: “We appreciate that this is a very distressing time for the family of Ms Liggatt and offer our sympathies to them.

“NHS England Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire is committed to ensuring that services for patients are safe and of a high quality. A comprehensive improvement plan is now in place at Holywell Medical Group to ensure that the practice is consistently providing the high-quality primary care NHS England expects.

“NHS England will robustly investigate any complaints that are brought to its attention. While we cannot discuss individual cases, we can confirm that we have received an official complaint from Mr Wholey regarding the care and treatment of his daughter, which is being investigated through the appropriate channels.”

Last week Dr Bulmer said the group’s eight doctors are dealing with around 3,000 patients each - almost double recommended Royal College guidelines.