Weston man contracts life-threatening condition after 160 failed calls to surgery

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 09 March 2020

Nick Short rang Graham Road Surgery 160 times for advice after catching an infection.Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Nick Short rang Graham Road Surgery 160 times for advice after catching an infection.Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A Weston man contracted sepsis after failing to get a doctor’s appointment despite calling his surgery 160 times.

Nick Short rang Graham Road Surgery 160 times for advice after catching an infection.Picture: MARK ATHERTONNick Short rang Graham Road Surgery 160 times for advice after catching an infection.Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Nick Short, aged 50, was rushed to Weston General Hospital with the life-threatening infection after trying to get an appointment at Graham Road Surgery for five days.

Paramedics confirmed he would have been given antibiotics to treat the infection if he had been seen on the first day - saving him from four days of treatment in hospital.

Nick is prone to infections after surviving rectal cancer, and the GP surgery gave him an emergency number to call if he feels unwell, but he was still unable to get through.

He said: "I rang the doctors 160 times in five days and was eventually rushed into Weston General Hospital for sepsis.

"It was a result of catching an infection, I get ill regularly after being diagnosed with rectal cancer in my 40s.

"Paramedics rushed to my house, they said if I had got through to the doctors' surgery that first day I called, I wouldn't have been in this situation.

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"I was so angry, the surgery gave me an emergency number to ring when I was getting ill again beforehand, which I rang, but they stopped that due to the amount of people ringing up.

"This was about seven weeks ago, and I feel like I can't get any help at all.

"It is a constant battle, but Weston General was brilliant and they kept me in at least four days after I was rushed in."

Nick says it is a 'nightmare' he cannot get through to a doctor at Graham Road.

He has also been forced to drive to Southmead a number of times to pick up his prescriptions, which he says 'keeps being messed up' by the surgery.

Clinical Director at Pier Health Group, which runs Graham Road Surgery, said: "Providing safe and effective patient care is our utmost priority. We have been in contact with the patient regarding his complaint, and deeply regret the poor experience he had."

The surgery says since January, it has increased the number of phone lines and recruited more staff to answer calls.

A spokesman for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said Pier Health Group took on the Graham Road in 'difficult circumstances' in June 2019 and has been working on an action plan to make improvements to its services.

The CCG continued: "We understand the concerns of the patient and take complaints extremely seriously. We encourage people to raise any concerns they have with us by contacting bnssg.customerservice@nhs.net or freephone 08000 730907.

"If you, or somebody you are with, is in need of urgent care or advice, we recommend you call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.

"If it is an emergency, please call 999."


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