University student dies from sepsis after ringing GP surgery 25 times only to be refused appointment

India McTaggart
·2-min read
Toby Hudson, 19

A university student has died from sepsis after trying to get through to a GP surgery 25 times only to be refused an appointment, an inquiry has heard.

Toby Hudson, 19, was unable to get through to anyone at the practice in Weymouth, Dorset because of a faulty phone system.

But when he tried again the following day, he was told he could not have an appointment for at least 48 hours due to him being registered at another surgery in his university town of Southampton, Hants.

The teenager then attended an urgent care walk-in centre, where he was wrongly diagnosed with tonsillitis and prescribed antibiotics.

Within 24 hours Mr Hudson's condition deteriorated rapidly and his parents eventually called emergency services when he became unconscious.

He went into cardiac arrest but was delayed in getting to hospital because an ambulance initially attended the wrong address.

Mr Hudson tragically died on July 4, 2019, two days after he first sought help at the Wyke Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice in Dorset.

A post mortem examination showed he died from multiple organ failure due to sepsis, which was due to infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever).

It was heard that Mr Hudson was suffering from swollen glands, 'puffy' tonsils and a sore throat when his parents urged him to speak to a GP.

Giving evidence, Dr Matthew Brook, a partner at the Wake Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice, admitted issues with the phone system due to a high patient load.

Dr Brook said: "We were having tremendous problems with our phone system which could not handle a much higher number of calls."

He insisted that the correct procedures had been followed, as according to national guidelines, temporary residents should only be seen by a GP if they do not require urgent care.

He added: "We have had a review since then and nobody recalled taking the call from Toby."

The nurse who attended Mr Hudson in urgent care said she was "not remotely worried" about his symptoms upon examination, adding that "he did not show any signs of sepsis".

She recalled: "He had a normal temperature of 36.1 degrees, a heart rate of 102bpm and rated his pain at an eight out of ten".

Mr Hudson’s father, Peter, said: "I felt there was no urgency. I had to press for action to be taken and for our concerns to be heard.

"We have a lot of concerns about his care."

The inquest continues.

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