THE new GP out-of-hours service is under fire after a widow claimed better treatment may have saved her husband.
An investigation is being launched at the Shropdoc out-of-hours clinic, in Pendine Park, Summerhill, after Pauline Jones complained no treatment was offered to her husband, Charlie, who later died from pneumonia.
A further two formal complaints have also been lodged against the service since it was launched on October 1 to provide more efficient treatment for patients.
Pauline, of Borras Park, contacted the service after cancer sufferer Charlie complained about breathing problems.
She was asked to drive Charlie to the clinic at 3am.
When they got to the clinic, Pauline claims the first thing the doctor asked was what she was doing ringing a GP at 2am.
He then sent 69-year-old Charlie back home, advising that he should be kept warm.
Charlie was later taken by ambulance to the Maelor Hospital, after Pauline rang NHS Direct, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and died 10 days later.
Pauline, a 58-year-old legal secretary, said: 'I had tried to get a doctor to come out but couldn't and a neighbour drove us to Pendine Park.
'It was pouring with rain and we were soaking wet outside the clinic. 'The doctor never did anything for us. It was the pneumonia that killed him in the end.
'It was horrible. You just keep thinking back to it. I just wish the doctor had come out and got us an ambulance.
'Why didn't I just dial 999? Just the day before a district nurse told me that the out-of-hours service would be able to help.'
Sue Willis, nurse director at Wrexham LHB, said she was unable to comment specifically on Pauline Jones's case.
She said: 'The service commissioned is designed to ensure that patients are assessed and where necessary treated in accordance with clinical need.
'The decision as to whether a home visit is provided to a patient is made by a health professional and where this is considered necessary a visit is arranged.
'Where this is not considered necessary, a consultation at the out-of-hours centre is arranged, or telephone advice is given.
'The LHB has confirmed with Shropdoc that the number of doctors on duty at any time in the area is sufficient to meet the assessed clinical need.
'We have received three complaints regarding the service since its establishment and we are pursuing the issues raised in these complaints with Shropdoc.
'Such complaints are taken very seriously by the LHB and Shropdoc and a full investigation of each case is undertaken with the results communicated back to the complainant.'
The case was raised by Plaid Cymru AM Janet Ryder, who is calling for a review of the service to satisfy the Government that adequate levels of cover were provided in Shropdoc, a contracted doctors' co-operative.