A man noticed his fingers turned purple because of blood clots in his arm that left him needing A&E treatment.
Joseph Sang ended up spending five days in hospital where he had anticoagulant medication to thin his blood to combat the dangerous clots.
Mr Sang, from Kirkby, claims he first attended his GP surgery on November 19 — but he was only offered a phone appointment.
But a spokesperson for Trentham Medical Centre told the ECHO “the clinical team who consulted Mr Sang provided appropriate treatment and clinical advice” that complied with national guidelines.
They added due to the pressures of the pandemic, practices are facing “unprecedented demand” to ensure patients can access care in a timely and efficient way that keeps staff and patients safe.
Mr Sang, 57, claims he first called the medical centre and then went to the surgery to try and get a face-to-face appointment with his doctor.
But after showing staff his fingers, which were going purple, and describing the pain running down his arm, he claims he was offered a phone appointment.
He claims he was told by his doctor to take Ibuprofen to see if it settled and to call back in a few days if there was no change.
Mr Sang returned three days after his first visit, again asking for a face-to-face appointment, but claims he was offered a phone appointment with his doctor.
Mr Sang told the ECHO : “I was told I could be booked in again for a phone appointment, but I showed them my hand on two occasions and said ‘it’s getting worse’.
“I said this is a serious matter — I need to see someone face-to-face.”
He added: “I hadn’t slept because of the pain and was self-medicating on the doctor’s advice.
“My only option was to go to A&E.”
Mr Sang first went to A&E on November 22, but claims he was told to to monitor the situation which he did for the next three weeks before returning back to the practice.
Mr Sang was given a face-to-face appointment by a doctor, but he claims that due to a lack of sleep due to the pain, ended up missing the consultation.
After returning to the surgery, he claims he was told he couldn’t be seen and would have to rebook.
Mr Sang did rebook, but claims he was told by a doctor at Trentham Medical Centre the best way he could be seen would be to go to the walk-in centre below the GP practice.
After visiting the medical centre, Mr Sang claims he was told the condition could be serious and advised him to make his way to A&E where he had a CT scan that revealed the blood clots in his arm.
Mr Sang ended up staying at the Royal Liverpool Hospital for five days where he was on medication to help thin his blood.
He called the whole experience of trying to speak with a doctor face-to-face a “nightmare.”
He said: “First and foremost, to actually get to see a doctor was a nightmare. I was booked in to see one in the middle of all of this, but through no fault of my own, due to my chronic pain and lack of sleep, I missed it.
“The doctor even stressed he couldn’t see me on the same day and I’d have to rebook with the receptionist.
“It shouldn’t have ever got to the point where I needed to go to A&E. I should have seen my doctor three of four weeks before. It’s not something that can be done over the phone.
“When I told staff I had chronic pain down the left hand side of my body, it should have set off alarm bells.
“I’ve got to take daily injections for the next six months. I don’t know what way this is going to go. I just know the pain has settled a bit now.”
A spokesperson for Trentham Medical Centre told the ECHO : “The practice are sorry to hear that the experience Mr Sang had with Trentham Medical Centre did not meet his expectations and would like to offer him the opportunity to meet and discuss his recent care and identify any areas where he/we believe future improvements could be made.
“Following a thorough review of Mr Sang’s medical records a senior clinician identified that during a recent four week period Mr Sang had five GP consultations; three via telephone and two face to face (1 of which he did not attend).
“From reviewing the consultations of which Mr Sang attended (and given the past medical history and the patients’ presenting problem/s) the practice are satisfied that the clinical team who consulted Mr Sang provided appropriate treatment and clinical advice with safety nets in place for Mr Sang to recontact the practice if his condition deteriorated.
“During this four week period, Mr Sang was referred to the walk-in centre for assessment following a telephone consultation when he stated his condition deteriorated; it is appropriate for clinical staff to refer patients to another service to ensure the patient is seen in the most time efficient way and with access to the most appropriate staff and services(s).
“Like other practices, we are complying with government guidance when providing services in a way that aims to keep patients and staff safe.
“This may mean that patients will receive treatment and/or care in a way that they have previously not experienced, for example telephone and/or video triage.
“However, despite appointment requests being initially triaged if a patient is required to be seen face to face they will be given access to the most appropriate clinician and/or service.
“In the case you have written to us regarding Mr Sang, Trentham Medical Centre have provided a good quality of care complying with national guidelines.”
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