AN asthma sufferer has hit out at health chiefs after claiming he was refused treatment by a medical centre while he was having the worst attack of his life.
Breathless Chris Stubley went to One Life Hartlepool in Park Road with his fiancée Colleen Hansford after being hit by the sudden attack.
Colleen asked for a doctor to look at him, but she was given a number to ring because the walk-in GP centre had closed.
She said they were denied access to a doctor in the 24-hour minor injuries unit, which is under the same roof.
After ringing the out-of-hours number, Chris, 18, was taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool by ambulance where he was treated.
He said: “It was probably the worst attack I’ve had. I think it is stupid the way they treated the situation. It really was bad. When smoke gets on my chest or if I am running, it brings my asthma on.”
Colleen, 20, a volunteer youth worker, hit out at the treatment by One Life Hartlepool.
She said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting. There was a doctor in the minor injuries part but he couldn’t be seen because it was an asthma attack not a minor injury.
“What’s the difference if someone needs help?”
Chris, who is studying motor vehicle engineering at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was at Colleen’s home in Harrow Street, Hartlepool, when her cooker started smouldering. He suffered the attack after he tried to deal with the smoke, caused by burning fat.
Colleen, who has a one-year-old son, Lucas, said: “I asked at reception to see a doctor. At this point Chris was having an asthma attack, and the receptionist said the surgery shut at 8pm.
“They said they couldn’t do anything until we booked an appointment, and gave us a number. Chris was struggling to breathe. I thought ‘why can’t we go in the minor injuries?’”
Chris was released from hospital later after being checked over and given a spray on his tongue.
Ali Wilson, director of commissioning and system development for NHS Tees, said: “We take any patient concern about the service they receive seriously and are committed to making sure that all patients receive good quality care at the right time in the right place.
“We are looking into the issues that have been raised and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with Mr Stubley and encourage anyone who has a concern about the care they or a relative receive to contact us directly through the PALS service on 0800 0130 500.”