Health chefs demand assuramces after death of Cradley woman

First published in News

HEALTH chiefs are demanding assurances that action has been taken over issues raised by a coroner following the death of a Cradley student 36 hours after a doctor failed to spot she had pneumonia.

Evelyn Purchase, aged 20, was found dead at home by her mother the day after being given a third course of antibiotics for a chest infection.

The out-of-ours GP at the Holly Hall walk in centre also prescribed anti-depressants after putting her lack of appetite down to depression.

An inquest at Smethwick heard the doctor did not carry out a mental health examination, had not realised she had two previous courses of antibiotics which had failed to treat her worsening condition and refused her request for an X-ray.

Black Country coroner Robin Balmain said the doctor performed a “substandard” examination on Evelyn, a media student, who died at her Butchers Lane home last April.

Her distraught mother, Halesowen College lecturer Tara Purchase, is planning to take the case to the General Medical Council.

In a statement Dr David Hegarty, clinical chairman of Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We expect the highest standards of care for all patients who use the services we commission.

“We will be seeking an assurance from the provider of the walk in centre service that action has been taken to deal with any issues raised by the coroner.”

The future of the walk in centre and GP out-of-ours service already hangs in the balance as the CCG is considering whether to renew the contract with private care provider, Primecare, as part of a review of access to urgent care services in the borough.

The review was prompted by accident and emergency services failing to meet the four hour wait target and patient surveys indicating residents are unclear where they should go when they have an unexpected or urgent healthcare issue but would rather be seen by their own GP practice.

A Primecare spokesman said: "We would not comment on an individual case. However, we have been in close dialogue with the CCG and have given them the reassurances they require".

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