Doctor turns away injured one-year-old

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A grandparent with an injured one-year-old child was turned away from Clare Guildhall Surgery after a doctor refused to help her.

Kerrie Williams was enjoying the sunshine in Clare Country Park with her granddaughter Mira-Rose Merrit on Monday when the one-year-old fell and banged her head against the iron railings.

Ms Williams took the child to the nearest pharmacy in Clare to seek advice about the bruising and swelling that had appeared just above the child’s eye.

On the advice of the pharmacist, she went to Clare Guildhall Surgery for advice as to whether her granddaughter needed to visit accident and emergency at West Suffolk Hospital.

But the distressed pair were turned away after the doctor refused to look at Mira-Rose because she was not a patient.

Ms Williams said she was told by a receptionist to take the child to her registered GP in Haverhill.

“I thought it was unprofessional,” she said. “This doctor has a duty to care regardless of if you are one of the practice’s patients.

“I took a child to that surgery who was in need of medical assistance.

“When I needed that little bit of help or reassurance, they said no.”

Ms Williams said she would have been willing to wait, even with the surgery very quiet and with no patients in the waiting room.

“I want the GP to explain to me why on that day they did not treat that child in the way she deserved,” she said.

Ms Williams said she has reported the incident to the General Medical Council.

Clare Guildhall Surgery practice manager Jackie Stevens said the surgery would not comment on individual patient care.

She did say, however, that there is no official policing stopping doctors from treating unregistered patients.