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Author Topic: Dr Joanne Rowe [Disgraceful and Shameful]  (Read 3498 times)

Offline greentara

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Dr Joanne Rowe [Disgraceful and Shameful]
« on: February 26, 2017, 10:47:36 PM »
Five-year-old died of asthma attack after being turned away by GP for being a few minutes late
By Tom Bedford | 26 FEB 2017
A girl of five died of an asthma attack after being turned away by a GP because she arrived a few minutes late for her appointment.

Ellie-May Clark and her mum Shanice, 25, from Newport , were told to return the next morning by Dr Joanne Rowe, a specialist in safeguarding children.

But the little girl died five hours after Dr Rowe reportedly shouted at a receptionist: “No I’m not seeing her, she’s late”.

The little girl’s family say the doctor should be struck off the GP register.

Dr Rowe, 53, was let off with a warning by the General Medical Council and has moved to another practice where patients are understood to be unaware of the fatal mistake.

Ellie-May’s grandmother, Brandi Clark, 43, said: “They were a few minutes late and Shanice even told the receptionist they wouldn’t be there on time.

“But Dr Rowe was angry that they weren’t punctual and sent them away.

“Her decision cost our gorgeous little girl her life.

“Our lives have been shattered but Dr Rowe has been allowed to get a new job and quietly move on with her life as if nothing ever happened.”

Ellie-May had a history of severe asthma and had been treated five times in a hospital high dependency unit.

Dr Rowe’s practice had been warned by a paediatrician that Ellie-May was at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.

The “bright and fun-loving” girl was sent home from school early on 26 January 2015 because teachers were concerned her asthma was “deteriorating”.

Restaurant waitress Shanice, 25, made an emergency appointment at the Grange Clinic in Newport and was told to get there at 5pm.

But that gave her just 25 minutes to arrange childcare for her two-month-old baby and beg a friend to give her a lift to the surgery a mile away.

Shanice claims her mobile phone was showing 5.04pm when she arrived but then had to queue at the reception desk.

However the General Medical Council hearing heard that the surgery's receptionist rang Dr Rowe at 5.18pm to tell her the patient had arrived.

After being turned away, Shanice took her poorly daughter home and dialled 999 at 10.35pm when she suffered a seizure and stopped breathing.

The unconscious schoolgirl was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital by ambulance with Shanice following in a police car.

Doctors told her they worked on Ellie-May for half-an-hour but were unable to bring her back.

Single-mum Shanice was too upset to talk about losing her little girl who wanted to grow up to be a princess like her heroine, Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.

But Ellie-May’s grandmother Brandi said: “We all feel terribly let down.

“We haven’t even had an apology from Dr Rowe who has got away with just a slap on the wrist.

“She has been allowed to get on with her life, get another job and move on.”

Dr Rowe, who qualified in 1986, was a senior partner at The Grange Clinic for 22 years where she was in charge of child safeguarding at the practice.

The GMC investigation found she “failed to consider the medical history of the child” and gave her a warning which will stay on her record for five years.

The GMC told her: “Your failure to see and assess this child does not meet with the standards required of a doctor.

“It risks bringing the profession into disrepute and it must not be repeated.”

An inquiry by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, which controls the Newport surgery also found Dr Rowe had “failed to make any clinical assessment".

The Health Board’s report said Shanice and Ellie-May arrived eight minutes late, contrary to the family’s claim it was four minutes.

The confidential report said reception staff rang through to Dr Rowe but she shouted back at a receptionist: “No I’m not seeing her, she’s late.”

Dr Rowe claimed she was with another patient when she turned the schoolgirl and her mother away.

But the Health Board checked computer records at the surgery which showed the doctor didn’t see a single patient between 4.55pm and 5.20pm after a number of cancellations that day.

The “Serious Concern” report also said reception staff were afraid of Dr Rowe, who was known for “repeated angry outbursts”.

It says: “There is a consensus that Dr Rowe is unapproachable and volatile.

“Many staff reported being afraid to challenge her decisions or seek a second opinion from one of the other doctors.”

The report concludes that it was Dr Rowe’s usual practice to refuse to see patients who arrived late for either routine or emergency appointments.

After being suspended on full pay for six months, Dr Rowe has since joined the Cloughmore Surgery in Splott, Cardiff, 15 miles away.

She declined to comment on Ellie-May’s tragic death or the investigation into her conduct.

A spokeswoman for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Ellie May.

“We can confirm that Dr Rowe no longer works within the Health Board area, and also that we referred the doctor to the General Medical Council who investigated in accordance with their procedures.”

The Gwent Coroner is investigating the tragic death and an inquest is due to be held.