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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 20:36 GMT
Long wait for GP after wife dies
Dee Haines
Dee Haines died from a kidney tumour
A man had to wait more than five hours for a doctor to come to his home to certify his wife's death from cancer.

Dee Haines, 49, died from a kidney tumour on Saturday 5 February at home with her family in Congresbury.

Her husband Phil rang the out-of-hours GP service at 1530 GMT but an agency doctor did not arrive until 2115 GMT.

North Somerset NHS Trust, which is responsible for the out-of-hours service, has since apologised to the family for the delay.

But Danielle Robb, one of Dee's daughters said it should not have happened.

That Saturday was the busiest the service had experienced
Trust statement

"It would have been nice to have her for about an hour just to say goodbye but five-and-a-half hours, well, the body starts to go cold and that's not what anybody wants to remember, especially not my 10-year-old little sister who was with us. It's not right," she said.

In a statement the trust said: "We are extremely sorry that the family had to wait so long.

"That Saturday was the busiest the service had experienced and we brought in another doctor to help.

"Unfortunately, it was so busy that this family did have to wait an unacceptable length of time."

When the out-of-hours service began in November 2004, the Primary Care Trust said it would have to use an agency to supply doctors for the area because there was "insufficient interest from local GPs to provide the home visiting service".

But it said local doctors were now expressing an interest and it hopes to have a predominantly local GP-led home visiting service by April.




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