Brandi Clark, the grandmother of five-year-old Ellie-May Clark, outside Newport Coroner’s Court. Picture: Claire Hayhurst/PA Wire
Brandi Clark, the grandmother of five-year-old Ellie-May Clark, outside Newport Coroner’s Court. Picture: Claire Hayhurst/PA Wire

Girl dies after she was late for GP

A YOUNG girl with asthma died after a GP turned her away for being late to the appointment, an inquest has heard.

Shanice Clark brought her five-year-old daughter Ellie-May to the Grange Clinic in Newport, south Wales, at 5.05pm on January 25 in 2015.

But the pair were held up in reception, reaching the front of the queue between 5.10 and 5.18pm.

Dr Joanne Rowe refused to see Ellie-May because she was late for the 5pm appointment - the inquest heard she enforced a strict "10-minute rule".

In a heartbreaking moment, Ellie-May had asked her mother: "Why won't the doctor see me?"

At 10.30pm she suffered a seizure, collapsed in her home and was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital.

She died shortly after arriving.

Ellie-May Clark on her fifth birthday. An inquest has heard that she died after being turned away from an emergency doctor's appointment because she was late. Picture: Supplied
Ellie-May Clark on her fifth birthday. An inquest has heard that she died after being turned away from an emergency doctor's appointment because she was late. Picture: Supplied

On Tuesday at Newport Coroner's Court, Dr Rowe admitted she failed to look at records which showed Ellie-May was in danger of a life-threatening asthma attack, and had previously been in intensive care, Daily Mail reports.

When questioned by Coroner Wendy James about the circumstances that led to the clinic turning the girl away, Dr Rowe said: "I was busy seeing to the other patient that I had with me".

"If you have 25 patients to see in a morning or afternoon and a lot of people are 15 minutes late or 20 minutes late you are never going to be able to manage your work," Dr Rowe said, according to Yahoo.

Ms James said the girl was "let down by the system".

"Ellie-May Clark died from natural causes where the opportunity to provide potential lifesaving treatment was missed," she told the court.

"Ellie-May's care was disjointed, she was seen by three different doctors in the five days before she died. Had there been one doctor there might have been a different outcome. It was unacceptable, especially when the patient is a five-year-old child with a history of acute asthma.

"Ellie-May's care plan was neither robust nor effective. Lessons must be learned, Ellie-May was let down by the system."

 

 

 

Ellie-May Clark on her fifth birthday. An inquest has heard that she died after being turned away from an emergency doctor's appointment because she was late. Picture: Supplied
Ellie-May Clark on her fifth birthday. An inquest has heard that she died after being turned away from an emergency doctor's appointment because she was late. Picture: Supplied

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