How the lives of staff at a doctor's surgery were turned upside down by the actions of one man

It was a regular morning at the Florence House medical practice. Receptionists were answering the phones as patients turned up for their appointments.

But, at 11am on September 17, 2021, the normality quickly shattered into violence. A patient, angered at being unable to get an appointment, caused utter carnage and devastation.

Olumuiwa Oduntan, 61, had barged his way into the surgery, on Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, just 15 minutes after making a number of abusive phone calls to ask for a repeat prescription.

READ MORE 'F*****g call the police... I'm gonna get arrested today': Man left NHS staff utterly terrified in vicious attack after storming surgery

After demanding an appointment, he was told there were none left. Unhappy with that response, he then told the receptionist: "I'm coming down there now. I'm gonna get arrested today, cos I wanna speak to a doctor."

It took just minutes for him to arrive at the GP surgery, where he picked up a metal barrier pole weighing over 8kg, smashed the safety glass at reception, before then jumping over the counter and attacking the innocent NHS staff working there.

He struck the receptionist over the head, knocking her unconscious, before also hitting a GP over the head after he rushed in to help break up the unfolding violence. The doctor also lost consciousness.

The horror incident happened at the Florence House medical practice
The horror incident happened at the Florence House medical practice -Credit:Manchester Evening News

He threw the practice manager to the ground after she leaped onto his back, before striking a fourth worker over the head with the weapon, causing a traumatic brain injury.

The impacts of Oduntan's violent outburst were laid bare in court when he was sentenced last Thursday (May 23). Victim impact statements were read out from the four innocent NHS workers who were caught up in the horror incident.

And Ms Joanne Woodward, the judge presiding over the case, said that all four victims, who sustained physical injuries, were also 'impacted both emotionally and psychologically to a profound degree' .

"I had to move to the Scottish Highlands for a fresh start"

One female member of staff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, memory loss and PTSD among other injuries, felt she had to move out of Manchester to the Scottish Highlands for a 'fresh start'.

She said: "I didn't leave the house for months. I hid behind closed doors too scared to leave the house and started to neglect myself.

"I am constantly on edge - when I see a metal pole I start to get palpitations. I don't like being in busy places and have moved to the Highlands of Scotland for a fresh start. I always fear the worst is about to happen and constantly worry.

"I have been under the trauma rehabilitation clinic as I have a traumatic brain injury, I am also under the neurology department as I am suffering migraines following the concussion and therapy for PTSD brought on following the incident.

The court was also told how the victim felt her life 'had changed forever' and that she felt the incident had 'completely changed her as a person'.

"I don’t think I'll forget the picture of my colleagues bleeding and injured"

The receptionist knocked unconscious sustained a 10cm laceration to her head, swelling to her forehead and bruising to her chest. In a victim impact statement, the staff member, who had worked at the surgery for 14 years, said: "Watching them [the staff] be violently attacked... I don't think I can forget the picture of my colleagues bleeding and injured.

"I'm not the same person I was. The incident and court case has consumed me. One of the most significant impacts is my sleep - the sleepless nights are too numerous to count.

"The incident has had a lasting affect on my career. I did not feel safe in work. The incident itself had a huge impact on everyone at the surgery, those that were injured and those that witnessed it. The relationships between staff became strained.

"The incident and court case has consumed me. My feelings of panic and dread - it's been a difficult time for everybody. My family has often felt helpless and not known what to do for the best."

The GP who was attacked by Oduntan suffered swelling to the forehead, an undisplaced frontal bone fracture in his head and fractures to bones in his spine. The court was told how he took four months off work after the attack and had to have counselling.

"I had mood swings and flashbacks that affected the relationship with my wife and children," the doctor said. "My family have suffered through seeing my injuries and seeing me change."

The court was also told how his consultation room had to be moved upstairs, away from the reception area, that he regularly suffers flashbacks when 'confronted with patients at work in challenging scenarios' and that he feels 'vulnerable and intimidated' when patients 'display anger'.

In mitigation, Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Oduntan, who has a diagnosis of either paranoid schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, had gone without his medication for eight days at the time of the incident.

Olumuiwa Oduntan was jailed
Olumuiwa Oduntan was jailed -Credit:GMP

The court heard it was possible for him to have had a 'psychotic episode' without the medication he was supposed to be taking daily. A psychiatrist also said it was likely that his mental disorder had a 'disinhibiting effect' on his behaviour.

Oduntan previously pleaded guilty to affray; three counts of causing grievous bodily harm; and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He denied three counts of wounding with intent and was acquitted of those charges following a trial earlier this year. He has no previous convictions.

Oduntan, of Herne Street, Openshaw, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years, of which he has already served two years and eight months on remand. He was made the subject of restraining orders against the victims.