22/10/2012 17:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Toddler Dies After Waiting 70 Minutes To See GP

Toddler dies after waiting 70 minutes to see GP SWNS

A toddler died after waiting for 70 minutes to see a GP, her parents have claimed.

Lucie Georgia Linforth, 23 months, was taken to her local doctor's surgery, Marston Surgery near Bedford, on October 5 suffering from a suspected infection and fever.

She was taken to the surgery by Eric Linforth, 33, her mum Angie Collins' partner.

Lucie's family says she was made to wait so long that her heart had stopped by the time she was seen by a doctor. She was taken to Bedford Hospital, but despite efforts to revive her, she was declared dead on arrival.

An inquest into her death has now been opened.

Lucie was taken to the surgery at 8.45am by Eric. Angie, 40, stayed at home with their other children, Hollie, three, and Lucie's twin brother, Jake.

Eric claims he went up to the reception desk 'four or five' times, but was pointed in the direction of a sign which said patients deemed to be abusive would not be seen. Eric also says the receptionist didn't look at Lucie when he went up the desk.

"After about 20 minutes waiting at the surgery she got worse, her lips were blue, she was really hot and was having trouble breathing," Eric told SWNS. "I went up about four or five times to ask to be seen. Finally I went up and I said they have to call an ambulance because she had got so bad."

Toddler dies after waiting 70 minutes to see GP SWNS

After 70 minutes, Lucie was taken into the 'minor injuries' room, and was seen by a nurse. Her heart had stopped beating and staff at the surgery tried to resuscitate her for over 45 minutes, before she was taken to Bedford Hospital.

"Once Lucie was seen the doctor refused to give up on her, I cannot thank him enough," said Angie. "He refused to give up on my baby, even when the paramedics arrived he didn't stop trying to resuscitate, he kept going for 45 minutes, until they took her to hospital.

"This should never happen again to any other family. I will never get over this. I want to get Lucie's story out there and try to stop it happening again. She was so full of life and I feel really angry that there was an hour and ten minutes where nothing was done.

"I feel they took away her lifeline. All I can do now is carry on fighting, I need justice for my little girl. And once I have that I will carry on fighting for the rest of my life until the system is changed. This cannot ever happen again.

"I will keep saying this, she was a healthy, vibrant, lively character full of fight, and her life was just chucked away that morning. If people had just opened their eyes they would have seen just how poorly she was. Time was precious and it was wasted sat waiting."

A police investigation has been launched into the death, although it is not being treated as suspicious. Angie has set up the Facebook group 'Justice for Lucie', which has already attracted support from 30,000 users.

Dr Fiona Sim from NHS Bedfordshire said: "This is a tragic death of a little girl and our thoughts and condolences are with the family. As this is an unexpected death, there is an ongoing coroner's inquiry and we are providing every assistance as well as working with the practice to carry out an internal investigation.

"Local NHS services are supporting the family and we wish to offer our full support in any way that we can to help all involved during such a difficult time."