My son died of an 'ear infection' after docs refused to see him in person | The Sun

A MAN in his 20s died after GPs refused to give him a face-to-face appointment during the Covid crisis, an investigation found.

Law student David Nash, 26, died of an abscess on his brainstem after an ear infection spread as he struggled to get treatment, BBC Newsnight revealed.



David’s parents said their son was “completely let down” by his GP practice in Yorkshire and Humber, which delayed blood tests out of fear of Covid.

Lumps grew on his neck and his pain worsened over three weeks but he could not get a video call, in-person check-up or blood test from his local doctor.

David, who tested negative for Covid at the time, had four phone appointments during his illness and was prescribed codeine for the pain.

He was then taken to hospital by ambulance after calling 111 five times in a day on November 2, 2020– but died just hours later.

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NHS bosses agreed “a face-to-face assessment should have been offered or organised to confirm the diagnosis”.

David’s father Andrew Nash told Newsnight: "What we know now is that a couple of days previously, he more than likely started to develop a brain abscess that was triggered by his ongoing infection in his ear.

"Two and a half hours after that call, David took a selfie of himself to send to a friend.

“I have no formal medical training other than first aid. But if I was to identify a picture of someone who was dying."

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An inquest into David's death is scheduled for early next year and is expected to look at what his family say were significant failures once he had been admitted to hospital.

David’s mother, Anne said she feels as though her son was 'let down'.

“I am absolutely convinced that if he'd been seen on that last consultation, he would still be with us today.”

Health experts now admit scrapping in-person GP and hospital appointments during the pandemic led to more serious illness and even death for thousands of Brits.

Dr Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We know that mistakes have been made and that's desperately sad when that has happened.”

In a statement, Mr Nash’s GP surgery said: “We would like to again extend our condolences to Mr Nash’s family, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

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NHS England for Yorkshire and Humber said it had “investigated the family’s complaint regarding their son’s treatment within primary care and provided them with a response”.

An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS has made it clear that every GP practice must offer face to face as well as telephone and online appointments, and that clinical judgement alongside patient preference must be considered."


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