A GRAN died of a heart attack hours after speaking to a nurse who allegedly dismissed her symptoms and told her to visit her GP.
Janine Balneaves, 64, from Luton, was suffering from chest and neck pains when she phoned her family doctor to get the results of a urine test.
Later that day the pain worsened and she was experiencing shooting pains in her chest, shoulders and neck so dialled the NHS 111 helpline number.
Janine – who had lived with multiple sclerosis for more than 25 years – was in too much pain to talk so her husband Martin grabbed the phone.
A medical professional from third party provider Care UK eventually phoned back 70 minutes later and allegedly advised her to visit her local doctor the following day.
However, her husband found her body at 8am after she had suffered a fatal heart attack in bed, reports Mirror Online.
Legal firm Slater Gordon, which is representing the family in a clinical negligence case, claims the nurse ignored Janine’s insistence that her pain was not linked to her MS.
Her daughter Gemma said her life felt “empty” following her death, adding: “Mum was the heart and soul of the Balneaves family.
“Our parent’s home had always been filled with laughter, but now it’s a very dark and cold place. It’s not a loving home, but an empty shell of a house.
“Seeing your father cry for his loss breaks you all over again. I didn’t know what to do, what to say or how to comfort him.
“This decision made by one individual has ripped the heart out of our family.”
Lawyer Adefolaju Sanda, on behalf of the family, said: “When you call a trusted medical provider for help, you believe you are being provided with an expert opinion and that they are adhering to the correct procedures to keep you safe.”
A spokesman for Care UK said: “We have apologised to Mrs Balneaves’ family and have put in place measures to ensure that lessons are learned from this very sad case, in particular to reduce any risk that a patient’s new symptoms may be mis-interpreted as a result of their pre-existing medical conditions.
"We have been in contact with the family’s solicitors since our investigation into the sad event and are continuing to review the case.”
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