Four-year-old with head wound turned away from GP surgery… because she was registered somewhere elseLibby Finlow fell over and cut her head inside a medical centre, but was turned away from the closest GP surgeryWhen she reached her own GPs they treated her without checking whether she was registeredShe was kept in hospital overnight with suspected concussion
A little girl bleeding from a head wound was turned away from a doctor's surgery – because she wasn't registered as a patient.
Four-year-old Libby Finlow suffered a serious cut on her head when she fell against a wall whilst running along a corridor at the Waters Green Medical centre in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Her parents Janna Russell and David Finlow picked the youngster up, ran across the corridor to the Park Lane surgery – one of six GP surgeries within the centre – and begged the receptionist for help.
Turned away: Four-year-old Libby Finlow suffered a serious cut on her head when she fell against a wall, but was sent away from the closest surgery
But even though Mr Finlow, 25, was registered as a patient there, they were turned away and told Libby had to be taken to her own doctor instead.
The youngster was eventually treated at a neighbouring clinic, at which she was registered as a patient, just feet away in the same building where she was bandaged up.
Her parents then took her to Macclesfield Hospital where her wound was stitched before taking her home, but she had to return the next day and was kept in overnight with suspected concussion.
The family have since complained to the Park Lane surgery and have received a letter in return stating that the staff were following the centre's existing protocol, but confirming that the practice will review how the event was dealt with in order to learn for the future and apologising for any stress and inconvenience caused.
Ms Russell, 24, a nursery
nurse, said: 'We find it disgusting that they could turn away anyone,
let alone a child. We were in shock. All we wanted was basic first aid.'
Libby's father, Mr Finlow, said: 'We put a complaint in to the surgery and they responded with a letter of apology saying they'd followed protocol and this and that and the other.
Out of danger: Libby (left) pictured with her parents David and Janna, and brothers Charlie (centre) and Josh
'We're just in the process of responding and saying yes we accept your apology however we still don't feel you followed protocol.
'I wouldn't like it if I'd fallen over and they'd pushed me somewhere else but a child of three, as she was at the time, is terrible.'
The couple, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, had gone to the medical centre, which houses six GP surgeries around a common atrium, with Libby and their younger children, Joshua, three, and Charlie, one, to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy for David when the incident occurred on January 23.
Mr Finlow, who works as a chef, said: 'We'd gone into the doctors to get a repeat prescription and, going into the toilet, Libby had fallen over and bumped her head.
'I picked her up and ran into the Park Lane Surgery and said can you help me
'Libby was bleeding quite heavily, she had blood all down her face, top and coat and I had blood all down me.
'I was panicked, I was worried, shocked, everything just sort of set in. I just wanted her cleaned up to check out what was going on.
'I just ran to the nearest doctor thinking obviously this is the place, they'll help. I said can somebody help me and they said “is she registered here” and I said “no, but I am” but she [the receptionist] just said “well, you'll have to take her to her own doctor”.
Recovery process: Libby pictured three days after the accident (left) and now
'I was just disgusted, I was speechless. It was just a case of the obvious place to get her sorted would be the doctors and it felt like they didn't want to help just because they were busy.
'I ran out, her doctors is on the same floor and I ran there and said “can somebody help me”. They didn't ask if she was registered they just saw her and two nurses rushed in and started to bandage her up and help.
'Libby was very upset, she was just crying more than anything else and I think she was in a bit of shock as well.
'We went to the hospital to get her stitched up and brought her home and she stayed at home that night but was vomiting still the next day. So we phoned the hospital because she carried on being sick and they said if she's sick more than three times to bring her in, so we did.'
Libby was given an anti-sickness tablet but she threw it back up so she was given a cannula and an injection and kept in overnight for observation as doctors suspected she may have concussion.
Following protocol: The Finlow family have received a letter from the Central and East Cheshire PCT apologising 'if the parents felt the accident was dealt with inappropriately'
David said: 'She's a lot better now, she's still got a scar on her head but she's back to her normal self, happy and chatty and into everything as they are at that age.'
A spokeswoman from Central and East Cheshire PCT, which runs the centre, said: 'We are very sorry to hear of the injuries the child sustained and would like to apologise if the parents felt the accident was dealt with inappropriately by a member of the Park Lane reception staff.
'A letter has been sent by the practice to the parents to offer an explanation and an apology.
'At Waters Green Medical Centre there is a protocol for dealing with accidents in what are called “common areas” like the atrium. One of the practices in Waters Green is responsible for responding to emergency calls each month. Usually a nurse or GP from the “on call” practice assesses the situation and if an ambulance is not required then the patient is advised to attend their registered practice where their medical notes are held.
'The practice “on call” in January was High Street Surgery which in this situation, was not called. The Park Lane receptionist was responding to the protocol described above in asking where the child was registered and suggesting the parent take her to her registered surgery.
'Both the surgery and the PCT do understand that in this circumstance, a more natural reaction for the receptionist would have been to take the child to a nurse for first aid. As a result of this, the practice will review this event and how it was dealt with in order that lessons for the future are learned.'