A young British girl suffering from asthma was turned away by her doctor after arriving late for a doctor’s appointment.
She passed away from an asthma attack just hours later.
At a recent disciplinary hearing behind closed doors, the doctor who refused the girl is still practicing at another facility, according to a Mail on Sunday investigation.
Five-year-old girl suffering severe asthma attack 'was sent away by GP because she was 10 minutes late' before dying hours later https://t.co/SMXQSjBgFo
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Five-year-old Ellie-May Clark was taken to the Grange Surgery in Newport, South Wales, for an emergency appointment in January 2015. But Dr. Joanne Rowe, 53, refused to see her, even though she was previously warned that the girl could suffer a life-threatening seizure.
The surgery followed a “10-minute rule” for late patients, according to the BBC.
But the girl’s mother Shanice Clark claimed they were just four minutes late for the appointment.
According to an official report uncovered by the Mail On Sunday, it stated they were eight minutes late. However, Shanice insisted it was incorrect, as she had checked the time on her mobile phone upon arrival.
The pair were sent home and told to return in the morning.
Clark said she was “angry” and “upset” when the doctor told them to come back again. According to the BBC, Ellie even asked her, “Why won’t the doctor see me?”
Later at home, Ellie started turning blue and was rushed to the Royal Gwent Hospital by ambulance where she later died.
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The details of the incident would have remained secret because the doctor’s watchdog, the General Medical Council (GMC) held her disciplinary hearing privately.
A Mail on Sunday investigation uncovered a confidential National Health Service (NHS) report that slammed Rowe’s handling of the incident.
That report found that the “root cause” of Ellie’s death stemmed from Rowe’s refusal to see her, and that she turned them away without asking a single question.
It also found that staff was scared to question Rowe because of her “repeated angry outbursts” and volatile nature. Just minutes after the Clarks went home, another GP asked Rowe why she turned them away.
Rowe claimed to have been seeing another patient when Ellie arrived, but the surgery’s computer showed that was false, according to the report.
Doctor Rowe was suspended for 6 months with full pay, after Ellie’s death. She also agreed to accept a written warning to not turn patients away again.
Sir Donald Irvine, the former president of GMC warned that the watchdog group needed “urgent reform.”
He also said that “The GMC is there to protect the public, not for the convenience of doctors,” according to Mail on Sunday.
On Feb. 24, Ellie’s grandmother Brandi Clark said, “We’ve never even had an apology from Dr. Rowe, who got away with just a slap on the wrist after her clock-watching attitude killed our beautiful girl.”
“She has been allowed to get on with her life, get another job, and forget about it. But we have been left with nothing but pain. Ellie-May has been denied the life she should have had,” Brandi added, according to Mail on Sunday.
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