An RAF veteran who suffered a suspected head injury after falling over outside a GP surgery was turned away – because he was not a registered PATIENT.
Great-grandfather Leslie Brown, 85, had been at the centre for routine blood tests but lost his footing as he walked back to his son’s car outside.
The pensioner was left shaken after smashing his head on the pavement and also suffered cuts to his knee and arms.
He was helped back inside Coleman Street Health Centre in Alvaston, Derby, by his son Matthew Brown, 53,
Nurses at the surgery also came to his aid after he fell over on September 6 and sat him down in a chair.
But doctors refused to examine Leslie and even turned his plea down for a plaster for his hand because he was not a full-time registered patient at the surgery.
Shockingly, Leslie, who has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, was told if he needed treatment he would have to dial 999 and ask for an ambulance to take him to A&E.
His son Matthew drove his frail father home before taking him to see his regular GP at Osmaston Surgery – which was two miles from where he suffered the fall – for a check-up.
Today (Wed), dad-of-four Leslie, who lives with Matthew and his wife Margaret, 42, in Derby, said he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t helped by medics at the surgery.
The former RAF non-commissioned officer, who also worked for Rolls-Royce and Celanese, added: “I left the surgery and just lost my footing.
“I fell to the floor and banged my head and my side and was left with cuts.
“But I was also quite shaken. I didn’t know what had happened at the time.
“A staff member saw me and helped get me up and took me back inside.
“They said I should go inside to get help and I could sit down for a bit. I was in a lot of pain and in shock.
“I went inside and thought I’d be able to get some help. But I was told they could not.
“They said I was not registered with the GP part. But I have been going for blood tests.
“I thought they would have looked at me.
“All I was after was a sit down and perhaps a couple of plasters.
“It would have been the decent thing to do.”
Leslie’s son Matthew was waiting for his father in the car outside the surgery when he saw him slip and fall off the pavement.
The cafe owner said: “A nurse came to help me get him up and we took him into the surgery.
“We sat down and the receptionist went to the doctor and came back and said ‘I’m sorry we can’t treat him’ because he wasn’t one of their patients.
“I was disgusted. It could have been a lot more serious and you never know with head injuries, he could’ve suffered bleeding on the brain.
“I took him to his registered surgery later that day and they checked him over and the doctors there were disgusted that he wasn’t helped at the other place themselves.
“It is meant to be a national health service and the doctor at that surgery needs to be reminded of the duty of care he has to people in Derby.
“I think it is a case of doctors only worrying about making money and not actually helping people who need it.
“My father has worked all his life, served his country in the RAF and paid his taxes and this is how he is repaid. It’s an outrage and left him feeling really upset.”
Leslie’s granddaughter, Jess Brown, 26, also said she was “absolutely disgusted” when she heard about what had happened.
She added: “Why on earth could they not help him? He’s an elderly man who has fallen over and been injured and they refused.
“He was not asking for much, he didn’t need an operation or anything serious. He just needed a sit down, a plaster and a bit of reassurance. It’s terrible.
“The place is full of doctors and nurses but nobody went to help him. It’s cruel and outrageous.
“He had to walk back inside with cuts. The staff should be ashamed of themselves.”
The family have now complained to the medical centre which has apologised and said Leslie should have been offered help.
A spokesman for Coleman Street Health Centre added: “We are very sorry for the distress caused to Mr Brown and his family.
“There are trained first aiders in the building who have attended to people on previous occasions who have come to the centre after a fall nearby.
“We regret this didn’t happen for Mr Brown and that we didn’t offer the reassurance he needed after what must have been a distressing fall.
“While the doctor was already busy treating patients there were others in the building who could have offered first aid.
“We will be strengthening our accident protocol as a result and hope Mr Brown is recovering well.”