A man has condemned an NHS walk-in centre which sent him home with paracetamol the day before he was admitted to hospital with a serious infection which could have stopped his breathing.
Zaheer Ahmed, aged 30, developed a severe throat infection on holiday in Turkey and became increasingly short of breath on the last day of his break.
He went straight from the airport to the Walk-In Clinic in Rotherham, but claims he was sent home by a medic after just a brief examination.
When he returned the next day he was immediately referred by another doctor to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Zaheer, from Rotherham, said: “As soon as I landed from my holiday, with my passport in my pocket, I went to the Walk-In Centre. The doctor didn’t even check me. I knew I was more than a paracetamol patient.”
Zaheer, the self-employed owner of a recycling factory, returned home with his medication but his condition did not improve. His family urged him to go back to the doctors.
He said: “As soon I got to the hospital I was put on oxygen and steroids. The doctor said I’d come just in time and was lucky to be breathing at all.
“My airwaves had swollen up and they told me if I had left it I may have stopped breathing. The swelling had spread down my throat, making it almost impossible to breathe. I ended up staying in hospital for three nights on a drip.”
He added: “I don’t want compensation or anything like that, I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
A Care UK spokesman said: “We can confirm the patient attended the Rotherham Out of Hours Primary Care Centre for two consultations.
“On both occasions he was promptly given appointments and was seen by very experienced doctors who are both permanent members of the team.
“During a second visit, it was clear that the patient’s condition had worsened and as a precaution he was referred to hospital.
“After reviewing the doctor’s notes, and listening to the telephone calls between the patient and our team leading up to the appointments, we can find no clinical issues with the care the patient received.”