Sheffield parents’ anger after girl labelled ‘obese’

Robert White and his daughter Alicia
Robert White and his daughter Alicia
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A MUM claims a family doctor said her six-year-old daughter would ‘die from diabetes’ during an appointment.

Mum Lesley Bagnall and dad Robert White said their child Alicia was left distraught after the Sheffield GP is said to have labelled her obese when she attended a city medical centre due to an ear infection.

The family say the youngster, who weighs 6st 7lbs, left the surgery in tears, asking ‘Mummy, am I going to die?’.

Robert and Lesley were so upset by the remarks they have lodged an official complaint with NHS bosses.

Lesley, 34, said: “As soon as I sat down the doctor asked what I was doing about her weight. I was a bit taken aback. I said she was fine, she was losing weight as she was growing.

“The next thing, the doctor said ‘you do know she could die from diabetes when she gets older’. I was fuming but I didn’t say anything, I just walked out of the surgery and burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying. I’ve got my little girl asking me if she’s going to die.

“If the doctor needed to say something she could have taken me aside.

“She was bullied because of her weight, so badly she had to move schools. She was just settling in and now this has happened.”

Robert, 33, of Wincobank, said: “My missus was so upset and angry she had to leave. Alicia was crying her eyes out. She is only six years old and someone has just said she might die.”

Alicia, one of six children, has been plagued by a number of medical issues since birth and has undergone several operations in her life.

The family believe the psychological impact might have led to her weight problems and have done their best to help her shed some pounds before starting back at school.

She was making progress and had managed to shift some weight - but her parents fear the incident could prove a setback.

Robert said: “We know she has a weight problem but she is not one of these enormous kids. For her age she is very tall.

“I’ve got five other children and none of them have any problem. As a parent I try to make sure they do physical recreation. I used to play football myself, and one of my children is a long-distance runner.”

Primary care trust NHS Sheffield was unable to comment on the individual case due to confidentiality issues.

A spokeswoman for the PCT said: “We take great care in explaining our complaints process to anyone wishing to submit a formal complaint about our services, including offering to take verbal statements if necessary.

“If an individual isn’t satisfied with information provided, they are offered the choice of an independent advocacy service to support them further, whilst we continue to assist as much as we are able.”

The Star approached the GP surgery but they declined to comment.