Widow of man who died after he was unable to see a GP during pandemic makes impassioned plea to NHS - ‘He should never have died’

Lisa King’s husband died in 2020 after he was refused a face to face GP consultation

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A widow whose husband died after he was unable to get a face to face GP appointment during the Covid pandemic has shared her heartbreaking story.

Lisa King’s husband died in 2020 after he was refused a face to face GP consultation.

She joined Patrick Christys on GB News to share her story.

She said: “We're going back to July 2020. Now, my husband had had pains in his stomach, so I emailed the GP, as I'd always done, to get an appointment for him face to face. I outlined where the pain was, I outlined how serious it was and how much pain he was in.

Lisa joined Patrick Christys on GB News
Lisa joined Patrick Christys on GB News

“I said he needed to be seen face-to-face, I got an email back saying, ‘no, you have to fill out an online form. But however, on this occasion, the GP will call’. The GP did call my husband, told him how much pain he was in. He couldn't describe how much pain he was in.

“So the GP decided after a chat that he had acid reflux and he prescribed him tablets to that. After five days, the pain was still there. In fact, it was worse. He was screaming in pain. He was violently sick. I called an ambulance.

“They took him to hospital and he had a gallstone trapped in his bile duct. They couldn't operate on him because he had peritonitis from the delay of not seeing the GP and being sent straight to the hospital to A&E.

“For three weeks he was on very strong antibiotics to remove the infection that he had. He went back to the hospital after that, and they said that because of his underlying health condition, he had a condition called genetic Hemochromatosis, which had been missed by the GP for six years prior to this episode.

“He was told that he would have his gallbladder removed in October, the latest beginning of November. At the beginning of October, he had the pain again in his stomach, I called an ambulance.

“They came within 20 minutes, he was white around his mouth and his nose, when the ambulance arrived he was speaking to them. He was telling them about his underlying health condition. He was telling them about what had happened with his gallbladder before. And then he just collapsed, just collapsed.

“The ambulance crew called back up, they called the air ambulance. He had 14 shocks. They couldn't save him, he had a heart attack.”

Lisa joined Patrick Christys on GB News
Lisa joined Patrick Christys on GB News

This week there have been warnings that the deaths of up to 500 people each week could be caused by delays in emergency care.

It comes after more than a dozen NHS trusts and ambulance services declared critical incidents over the festive period, with officials citing rising flu cases and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic among the reasons for the pressure on the health service.

Asked what she wants done to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again to other families she said: “How many times are we told there's a shortage of GPs? They're suffering from burnout, they're retiring because of the pension plans that were put in place for them.

“They got to see patients, when you get a call from a relative, a loved one, that's saying, ‘my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter, needs to be seen face to face’. You've got to see them.

“A GP has to see them. They are the primary carers. They are the gatekeepers to the NHS. Without them being seen first by a GP, there will be more.

She continued: “What my husband died from is a very was very treatable. He did not need to die. He should never have died. And for every one of those 500 a week that are dying, there is a family behind them.

“There is is a husband, a wife, a partner, a son, a daughter. And those children of those people that have died, it doesn't matter what age they are, they shouldn't be following coffins to crematoriums. It just should not be happening in 21st century Britain.