A doctor who refused to visit an ill disabled woman – instead diagnosing her over the phone – has told of his regret at an inquest into her death.
Staff at the United Response care home, where Jackie Maguire lived, asked Dr Sarfaraz Adam at Clifton Medical Practice, in St Annes, for a home visit on February 21 last year.
The 52-year-old had suffered diarrhoea for a week and a half, vomiting for a week, and a suspected seizure earlier that day.
But her inquest, being held in front of a jury at Blackpool town hall, was told Dr Adam did not believe a home visit was needed.
Thinking she had a urinary tract infection, which she had suffered the previous November, he prescribed antibiotics, the inquest heard.
“I would have gone to see her had I felt, based on my telephone conversation, it was necessary,” Dr Adam said from the witness stand.
“In hindsight, perhaps I would have gone and seen her.”
An ambulance was called to the care home, in St Annes Road East, at around 7.50pm that day, but the inquest heard how Miss Maguire did not co-operate with medics.
Paramedic Hannah Ayres said: “Because of how committed Jackie was in that she wasn’t going to go to hospital, the force that we would have needed to remove her from her bed alone could have caused injury.”
She said that, given Miss Maguire’s state of distress, trying to move her downstairs could have ended in ‘catastrophic’ injuries.
She said: “We felt the force needed to remove her from the property was disproportionate to what we saw at the time.”
Miss Maguire was left at the care home, where she was watched by staff, and taken by ambulance to the Blackpool Victoria Hospital the next morning. She died later that day.
The inquest was earlier told how Miss Maguire died from an ulcer that had gone through her stomach wall, and an infection.
Muriel Maguire told the hearing how she warned staff at the home her daughter, who had Down’s Syndrome, would ‘refuse to go to hospital’, and said: “I said Jackie did not have the mental capacity to make the decision for herself.”
Doctors at the Victoria Hospital later told her Miss Maguire had developed a deadly infection.
Ms Maguire added: “Later in the afternoon, Jackie was lying on her side holding onto the barriers of the bed. She had a lot of trouble breathing. She was really gasping.”
A funeral service for Jackie was held at Christ the King church in Rodwell Walk, Blackpool, in March 2017. She left behind her mother, three sisters and three brothers.
The inquest is set to run for around two weeks.