Mother died while waiting for two hours to speak to GP surgery

The heartbroken daughter of a woman who died after waiting to talk to her GP surgery is determined to discover what caused her death.

Helena Maffei
Helena Maffei

Helena Maffei, 55, who ran the Continental Bakery along with husband Tony, in Stourbridge Road, Kidderminster, was pronounced dead at 12.23pm on September 23 after waiting on the phone for nearly two hours.

Her daughter, Gaetana Maffei, a 30-year-old air stewardess, fears that tablets she had been prescribed for anxiety may have led to her suffering a seizure.

Gaetana said: "My mother was always fit and healthy and never drank alcohol or smoked.

"The last few weeks my grandmother had been ill and she was concerned about the stress on two sisters and went for three weeks with a dry cough.

"She went to the doctor who gave her anxiety pills but she said she had been shaking and getting out of breath.

"A few days went by and she got worse and on the Wednesday she felt unwell and had a fall in the bathroom. I wanted to call the ambulance but she said not to and that she would call the doctor.

"She called at 8.30am and was down to 14 in the queue when the phone disconnected. My mother called back and at 10.15am got through to reception who said the doctor would call back at 11.30am.

"Giuseppe, my brother, was with her and the phone went at 11.40am but she became breathless and went into a seizure and he called the ambulance.

"Before the paramedics arrived he performed CPR until they arrived but they could not revive her."

"It's all a big shock. It's a tragedy and we don't know the cause of her death but are waiting for this," Gaetana added.

A spokesperson from Wyre Forest Health Partnership said: “As is usual in general practice we do not comment on individual patient cases, however we will always speak with patients, their families or representatives and investigate with them, where there are concerns or complaints.

"We have worked hard throughout the pandemic to offer an accessible service to our patients, and we have seen patients face to face throughout this time.

"Although we are seeing a higher volume of calls, our phone message advises that if patients feel they have a life threatening medical emergency to hang up and dial 999. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

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