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Home > Topics > International
June 16, 2014

Woman having heart attack forced to call own ambulance at walk-in center

Receptionists turned her away when she asked them to call her an ambulance; she dug for her cell phone outside the clinic

The Shield's Gazette

JARROW, England — A family have hit out after claiming a grandmother was left to call for her own ambulance as she suffered a heart attack.

Loved ones of Hannah Barnes say the 58-year-old was forced to frantically search for her mobile phone at the bottom of her bag and call for an ambulance from outside the walk-in centre at Jarrow’s Palmer Community Hospital after reception staff turned her away as she begged for help.

The grandmother-of-three, of Hadrian Road, Jarrow, took ill on Monday morning, and still remains in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle after having her second heart attack in just six months.

Read full story: Walk-in centre refused to call ambulance for heart-attack gran

Comments
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Dan Kutz Sr. Dan Kutz Sr. Monday, June 16, 2014 7:08:22 PM Unexceptable
Vicki Cook Arnold Vicki Cook Arnold Monday, June 16, 2014 7:11:15 PM Wow!! Thats terrible!!! Hope that receptionist lost her job....and the clinic held responsible
Bill Kuriger Bill Kuriger Monday, June 16, 2014 7:26:21 PM I've found, that usually absurd stories like these have another side that's been left out...
Raymond Seiling Raymond Seiling Monday, June 16, 2014 7:48:49 PM One sided story and nothing in this article supports her story except her families word, nothing factual.....yet 2 people commented on this story as if from what they read it must be true, no wonder why this world is F'ed up
Stacy Green Stacy Green Monday, June 16, 2014 7:54:28 PM This has happened here. I work in EMS and I have responded often for patients having chest pain or shortness of breath that have been turned away from urgent care centers and have to wait for 911 to come pick them up in the parking lot. No ekg, no oxygen, no help, no nothing. Their excuse is, since they are private and not a public service, they are not oblighted to provide care. It's disgusting that they won't help just out of common decency. A little aspirin in a heart attack or a little oxygen can make the differenice between life and death.
Jamie Jill Maness Jamie Jill Maness Monday, June 16, 2014 8:23:39 PM One thing that bothers me as a healthcare worker is when the media listens solely to what the family has to say about something that has happened. I think that the urgent care should be able to tell their side before stories like this get posted.
Darlene DeVeny Darlene DeVeny Monday, June 16, 2014 9:39:10 PM A "receptionist" is to make the determination of whter or not someone is having a heart attack based on presenting symptoms...........do they have a medical license of any kind? Why are they making that type of decision when all they went to school for was to type on a computer and use all the programs on a computer? Ridiculous!!
Lynn Briggs Lynn Briggs Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:16:36 AM Urgent cares have popped up everywhere due to the fact that "ER"s are crazy busy, too expensive and many times the UC is close....The PRoBLEM is that they have NO drugs for MI, NO drugs for RSI, No drugs for Shortness of breath, NO drugs for exactly what people come in for. Often people are faced with then as a stopgap measure , ER is too far away. Why are they not staffed properly??? What putting in "not" real Doctors??? PUT a Medic in there then...they can handle EMERGENCIES and get patients where and what they need then . I had to take my son to UC, for an antibiotic and quick check over.....they yelled and lectured me and said WE are not an ER......no kidding jerks......this is how you behave, this is what you call professional??? NOT impressed in general with this "service".
Linda McGivern Linda McGivern Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:46:54 AM Does your comment mean the all the Urgent Care facility would have to do is refuse to comment and the story would be squashed? Sometimes, okay, often, you have to put something like this out there just to get a response from the other party.
Kristine Schularick Kristine Schularick Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:02:47 AM If a healthcare facility puts a "receptionist" out front - they should expect lawsuits. PUT A TRIAGE NURSE OUT FRONT - duh!
Kim Callaghan Kim Callaghan Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:19:14 PM A spokesman for Northern Doctors Urgent Care Ltd said: “Our organisational procedures dictate that when any patient presents to the reception, the receptionist will undertake a brief visual assessment of the patient’s presenting condition. “They will refer to our organisational urgency criteria which clearly identifies the symptoms associated with patients presenting with emergency, urgent or non-urgent conditions, and the actions to be taken accordingly. “Therefore, when a patient presents to a receptionist requesting an ambulance, the receptionist will briefly identify the physical presenting condition of the patient and seek immediate clinical advice from one of our GPs; while, if necessary, calling 999.” Christine Briggs, director of operations at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We commission urgent care services in South Tyneside. While we cannot comment on individual cases, all our providers are expected to deliver good services and where appropriate, services should signpost and direct patients onwards to other relevant services, and seek appropriate assistance where necessary.” There is your response from the jolly old English emergent health care facility in question....the receptionist does not have medical training and is going off of cue cards! Aren't you glad you live in North America?
Kim Callaghan Kim Callaghan Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:19:37 PM They do things differently in England.
Kim Callaghan Kim Callaghan Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:21:56 PM A spokesman for Northern Doctors Urgent Care Ltd said: “Our organisational procedures dictate that when any patient presents to the reception, the receptionist will undertake a brief visual assessment of the patient’s presenting condition. “They will refer to our organisational urgency criteria which clearly identifies the symptoms associated with patients presenting with emergency, urgent or non-urgent conditions, and the actions to be taken accordingly. “Therefore, when a patient presents to a receptionist requesting an ambulance, the receptionist will briefly identify the physical presenting condition of the patient and seek immediate clinical advice from one of our GPs; while, if necessary, calling 999.” Christine Briggs, director of operations at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We commission urgent care services in South Tyneside. While we cannot comment on individual cases, all our providers are expected to deliver good services and where appropriate, services should signpost and direct patients onwards to other relevant services, and seek appropriate assistance where necessary.” There...there's your side of the story from the facility itself...the receptionist there has no formal medical training and goes off of cuecards .
Kim Callaghan Kim Callaghan Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:23:16 PM A spokesman for Northern Doctors Urgent Care Ltd said: “Our organisational procedures dictate that when any patient presents to the reception, the receptionist will undertake a brief visual assessment of the patient’s presenting condition. “They will refer to our organisational urgency criteria which clearly identifies the symptoms associated with patients presenting with emergency, urgent or non-urgent conditions, and the actions to be taken accordingly. “Therefore, when a patient presents to a receptionist requesting an ambulance, the receptionist will briefly identify the physical presenting condition of the patient and seek immediate clinical advice from one of our GPs; while, if necessary, calling 999.” Christine Briggs, director of operations at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We commission urgent care services in South Tyneside. While we cannot comment on individual cases, all our providers are expected to deliver good services and where appropriate, services should signpost and direct patients onwards to other relevant services, and seek appropriate assistance where necessary.” Theres the medical facilitie's response when questioned as to why this happened.
Brodie Verworn Brodie Verworn Tuesday, June 17, 2014 2:00:24 PM Something similar happened to one of my pt's. Woman goes into her little neighborhood clinic where they know her, it's 4:45, clinic closes at 5:00. Clinic is 60 seconds away from the fire hall. We are met by two nurses with the patient in a wheelchair on the curb as we pull up. Pt. stands up, sits on our cot and when I turn around to talk to the nurses, they were both gone. Pt. was in resp. distress, desatting, dehydrated, and in new onset a-fib., and we got called for a 'transfer' to the hospital. She'd been at the clinic for 20 min prior, dropped off by her son, who had to run a quick errand. No vitals, no history, no c.c. from the clinic, just a name. Moral of the story: Don't get sick when it gets near closing time!
Rachel Bivins Rachel Bivins Tuesday, June 17, 2014 4:19:07 PM WOW! Good thing you guys were there Brodie Verworn!

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