"Slow diagnosis of swine flu"

About: Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT NHS Direct NHS Trust

(as a relative),

Please do not use my surname as my relative is a health care professional and just perhaps it could give difficulties for her at work if identified.

She is asthmatic. She is informed about swine flu. She is not inclined to hypochondria. After feeling unusually tired on Friday afternoon she very rapidly became ill on Friday evening and became worse on Saturday and Sunday.

During this time she called NHS Direct more than once and it took a long time to get through and to be called back. They twice failed to diagnose swine flu or to offer any prescription or to send a doctor. She had a high temperature, shaking, severe headache and limbs ache, she coughed, she was utterly exhausted, and later she became breathless and even at one point had a mild hallucination in her fever.

They suggested she get out of bed to attend a centre. They suggested she see her GP on Monday. They made no effort to issue Tamiflu although her husband would have gone to collect it.

On the Monday she phoned the GP surgery. She was not diagnosed over the phone. She was told to come into the surgery. Desperate for help, her husband took her to the surgery. At last - on the third day of the symptoms -she was given treatment by Tamiflu, antibiotics and increased doses of her usual asthma medicines.

This is NOT the way they said it would work. If an informed health professional with the increased risk of asthma and chest infection takes 3 days to get treated and has to get out of bed in a serious state what chance have the rest of us got?

Thank goodness she began to get better with the treatment although still ten days on is weak and breathless and shaken by the experience.

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