‘Shambolic’ treatment of cleaner turned away from three health centres after being pricked by a potentially dirty needle

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  • A&E told him he must go to see his GP
  • Doctor’s surgery informed him he needs to go to A&E or walk-in centre
  • Walk-in centre is not able to deal with needlestick injuries
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A CLEANER pricked by a dirty needle was left horrified after being denied treatment by three separate health centres.

David Crisp was cleaning public toilets in Trinity Street, Fareham, when he picked up tissue paper not knowing a needle was wrapped inside.

David Crisp

David Crisp

The 40-year-old was pricked by the needle and, on the advice of his boss, was told to go to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

But Mr Crisp, of Cochrane Close, Gosport, was turned away at A&E and later told he could not be helped by his GP practice and at a walk-in centre as all three were following different protocols and believed they were acting correctly in sending him elsewhere.

After calling the NHS helpline 111 more than five hours later, Mr Crisp was told to go back to A&E.

Now a Clinical Commissioning Group – which pays for health services – is looking to advise all practices to follow the same policies to ensure patients are not let down again.

The whole day was shambolic and it left me feeling very emotional and angry

David Crisp, 40

Mr Crisp said: ‘The whole day was shambolic and it left me feeling very emotional and angry – even several days later. I was concerned about HIV and hepatitis C, worried I could have either of these and that I was delayed treatment. I was turned away from A&E as it was 2pm and was told to see my GP.’

But when his wife called Brune Medical Centre, in Rowner Road, Gosport, she was told by a receptionist that needlestick injuries are treated at A&E.

Mr Crisp went to the Guildhall walk-in centre in Portsmouth, where he was given advice but told they could not help any further.

And when the father-of-three called NHS 111 at 7pm, he was told the best place for him to go was A&E.

‘After all that I couldn’t believe I was being sent back to the place where it all began,’ said Mr Crisp.

‘What made me angry was I needed treatment quickly but was left waiting several hours instead.’

Mr Crisp has since been given vaccinations and will need to have blood tests and boosters for the next year as he awaits initial results.

Dr Stuart Morgan, senior partner at the Brune Medical Centre, said: ‘It was our firm understanding patients with needlestick injuries should be seen in A&E. We have apologised to the patient for any impression given that we were not willing to see him, and we have been in contact with several NHS services to ensure he has received appropriate treatment.

‘We are entirely satisfied our receptionist did everything she felt appropriate in the circumstances.’

A QA spokesman said: ‘Our needlestick policy is that within working hours patients should visit their employer’s occupational health service or their GP, and out-of-hours should go to the emergency department for a risk assessment and appropriate follow-up.’

A Care UK spokesman, which runs the Guildhall walk-in centre, said: ‘The contract we operate under does not permit the team working there to carry out blood tests on patients who are not registered with the centre, unless the GPs have reason to believe the patient has cancer.

‘As a result of this contractual obligation, we refer patients that have been pricked by a potentially dirty needle on to another NHS service for tests.’