Health centre vow following student death

Health bosses today vowed to monitor standards at a walk-in centre after a coroner raised concerns following the death of a talented art student.


Evelyn Purchase, aged 20, from Cradley, died of pneumonia just 36 hours after being sent home with antibiotics by an out-of-hours GP.

She was found dead by her mother at their home, in Butchers Lane, on April 6 last year.

Black Country senior coroner Robin Balmain questioned the care she received at Dudley’s walk-in health centre during her inquest this week.

Evelyn had been feeling unwell for more than three months having previously been diagnosed with sinusitis in January. She was given two courses of antibiotics but was still feeling unwell when she was examined by Dr Mahmud Ahmed at the Holly Hall clinic on April 4 last year.

Dudley’s walk-in health centre, which was visited by student Evelyn
Dudley’s walk-in health centre, which was visited by student Evelyn

Mr Balmain said he feared the consultation was ‘less than optimal’ after Dr Ahmed sent her home with antibiotics and antidepressants to help ‘lift’ her spirits so she could regain her appetite. The coroner said the checks had been ‘incomplete’ but said it was ‘not possible’ to say if her life could have been saved.

Her mother Tara Purchase said she believed her daughter should have been admitted to hospital for treatment.

Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group said officials will seek assurances with operator Primecare, which has a £1.4 million contract to run the centre, over care.

Dr David Hegarty, who is clinical chair of Dudley CCG, said: “We expect the highest standards of care for all patients who use the services we commission. We will be seeking an assurance from the provider of the Walk In Centre service that action has been taken to deal with any issues raised by the coroner.”

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