Man dies outside closed health centre

Limavady GP Out of Hours Service. Picture Martin McKeown. 16.3.10
Limavady GP Out of Hours Service. Picture Martin McKeown. 16.3.10
  • Limavady man travels to local health centre for immediate medical attention from out-of-hours GP
  • GP no longer available in Limavady after a certain time
  • Man later passes away
  • George Robinson MLA to raise man’s case with Western Trust

A Limavady man died after travelling to the Scroggy Road health centre to see an out-of-hours GP only to find no doctor available.

Local MLA George Robinson is to take the man’s case to the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Someone’s life could have been saved if we had a better out-of-hours service in Limavady

George Robinson

The man’s son, who asked not to be named to protect the family’s privacy during their time of mourning, said: “There are a lot of people who don’t know that there is no doctor there any more after a certain time.

“My father went down there to see a doctor and there was nobody there for him.

“He died later.

“I’m not saying that I know for sure that if there was a doctor there he would have been alright but I want people to know that the GP out of hours isn’t open in Limavady any more at night.”

DUP MLA George Robinson said: “I will be raising this case with the Western Trust at a meeting on June 5.

“I was in a similar situation myself.

“It looked as though he was having a massive coronary event and when he got down there to the health centre the whole place was closed down - he died not that terribly long afterwards.

“He was in the same situation as myself.

“The only saving grace for me is that the doctor on call was there at night and was able to get the clot busting injection into me - two injections into the stomach.

“He was just the doctor on call but he was there and he was able to help me.

“Having went through the exact same thing as this man it just shows that if there was a doctor on call that night for him as well that he might have been able to save his life.

“We, my researcher David Gilmour and I, we had a meeting with the Trust previously where we discussed the out-of-hours service in Limavady.

“In this particular case the doctor had gone - that was at around 9.30pm in the evening. I made enquiries with the Trust and they told me that doctor on call had to be called away to Altnagelvin Hospital.

“This is purely due to the fact of simply not being able to get enough doctors.

“They even asked if David and I could help. We took it upon ourselves to write to each of the local GPs but we have yet to get a reply.

“With Altnagelvin being the main base of operations both Limavady and Strabane are being left with no coverage. That is why they had to take the out-of-hours service away.

“I will be meeting the Trust again on June 5 and I will be bringing up the possibility that someone’s life could have been saved if we had a better out-of-hours service in Limavady.”

A spokesperson from the Health and Social Care Board, asked when and why the GP out-of-hours service was reduced in Limavady, said: “There has been no Out of Hours GP on duty in Limavady after 11pm since September 2010. Between 11pm and 8.30am GPs from the Altnagelvin base see Limavady patients at the Limavady base by appointment and any patient requiring a home visit will receive one.”