The devastated parents of a little girl have spoken out about their heartbreak of losing their daughter after they say staff made them wait over an hour to be seen.
Little Lucie Linforth, who was just 23 months old, died on October 5 at Bedford Hospital after a cough she had been suffering with worsened overnight.
Parents Angie Collins and Eric Linforth, of Great Meadow, Marston Moretaine, took the youngster to Marston Surgery originally as they did not realise how ill Lucie was.
But the tot took a turn for the worse, and her pareants have now hit out at the surgery after they say staff made them wait an hour and ten minutes before seeing her.
They have now set up a campaign on Facebook called Justice For Lucie after they say staff at the surgery made them wait an hour and ten minutes to be seen.
NHS Bedfordshire and Luton, which oversees health services across the county, said it is now working with the practice to carry out an internal investigation, but cannot comment on the incident because there is an ongoing coroner’s enquiry.
Angie, 40, added: “Every day I don’t know how I get out of bed. Nothing will ever hurt me more than this, but now all I can do is focus on this campaign. 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.”
Eric, 33, took Lucie into the village surgery on October 5 in the morning while Angie stayed at home with their other children, Hollie, three, and Lucie’s twin brother Jake.
He said: “After about 20 minutes waiting at the surgery she got worse, her lips were blue, she was really hot and was having trouble breathing.
“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. They took her into the nurses room, but by that point her heart had stopped beating.”
Staff at the surgery tried to resuscitate Lucie for over 45 minutes, before she was rushed to Bedford Hospital where medics carried on trying to save her.
Angie said: “Once Lucie was seen the doctor refused to give up on her, I cannot thank him enough. 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.”
Doctor Fiona Sim, medical director for NHS Bedfordshire and Luton, said: “This is a tragic death of a little girl and our thoughts and condolences are with the family. The family must be going through terrible turmoil at this devastating time. It is vital that the evidence and facts are gathered so we can all understand what actually happened in this tragic case.
“As this is an unexpected death, there is an ongoing coroner’s enquiry 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.”
A coroner opened and adjourned an inquest into Lucie’s death where the circumstances surrounding her death will be investigated.
The two twins were due to celebrate their second birthday at the end of this month.
Angie added: “Jake doesn’t really know what’s going on, but he’s been acting differently. Lucie had been talking for a while, but Jake only really said one or two words.
“But since Lucie died he’s been saying ‘night night’, which is what Lucie used to say, and they slept in the same room with their beds pushed together, but they always slept in their own beds.
Since Lucie died though, he has been sleeping in Lucie’s bed. He’s lost his twin, he knows something bad has happened.”
Angie says she has been overwhelmed with support from friend, family and even strangers. People from an online forum on Facebook all clubbed together to name a star after Lucie, and buy other gifts for Angie and Eric.