Mum dies three days after flu diagnosis

A YOUNG mother died of bronchial pneumonia three days after an out-of-hours medical service told her she had flu.

A YOUNG mother died of bronchial pneumonia three days after an out-of-hours medical service told her she had flu.

Instead of sending her to hospital, a doctor told Clare Secker's family over the telephone that she had flu, and she should take paracetamol and drink plenty of fluids.

Miss Secker, 19, of Gorleston, who had an 11-month-old son, Tyler, died on Monday, December 29, after the family was told no doctors were available to visit her because they were busy.

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney has now launched an investigation and her parents, Michael and Janice Secker, said more should have been done by the out-of-hours medical service Take Care Now, based in Ipswich.

At the end of last month Miss Secker had been feeling unwell for several days and on Boxing Day her mother called their GP's number because her daughter had a high temperature, felt weak and was not eating.

As the surgery was closed, her call was put through to the out-of-hours service.

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Mr Secker, 52, said: “I honestly think if there was a doctor on duty someone would have come out and seen her and things could have been different. They asked for Clare's symptoms and told my wife they were very busy. We were advised to give her paracetamol and make sure she drank plenty of fluids.”

In the early hours of December 29, Miss Secker collapsed.

Her parents called for an ambulance but, despite attempts to resuscitate her in the ambulance and at the James Paget University Hospital, she died.

Dr Chris Price, medical director for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are in the midst of an inquiry as to what happened as a result of her mother's telephone call to the out-of-hours service on Boxing Day and in the days subsequent to that call.

“We will act on any findings that suggest the care she received fell below the standards we expect.

“We have every confidence in Take Care Now as a provider of out-of-hours services.”

Miss Secker's sister, Faye Secker, 18, said: “She was always happy, never miserable, and loved dancing and singing. She had adapted really well to being a mum, she loved it.

“Tyler came first in any decision she made and she was really looking forward to moving into a new flat.”

Clare was a pupil of Stradbroke Primary, Peterhouse Middle and Oriel High School, all in Gorleston, and after leaving school at 16 worked at the Piccolo Restaurant on Beach Road in the town.

As well as her sister she had two brothers Ben, 24, and Bill, 21.

Her funeral will be held at Gorleston crematorium on Tuesday, January 13, at 1.20pm.