Ellie-May Clark, a five-year-old girl suffering from chronic asthma, reportedly died after she was turned away by doctors at The Grange Clinic in Newport, South Wales, for being 10 minutes late.
Her emergency appointment was at 5 pm on January 25, 2015. However, she and her mother had to wait in the queue as the receptionist was busy with a phone call. They reached the front of the queue between 5.10 pm and 5.18 pm.
However, doctor Joanne Rowe had a "10-minute rule" where she cancels the appointment of patients who are late.
The mother, Shanice Clark, also informed the Newport Coroner's Court that the clinic just gave her 25 minutes to bring her daughter there. Shanice had an eight-week-old baby and did not own a car.
The court was also informed that the doctor received a letter from a consultant saying that Ellie May was at risk of having "an episode of severe/life-threatening asthma", according to The Star.
The little girl was in tears and asked her mother: "Why won't the doctor see me, mummy?"
Later that night, Shanice Clark found her daughter on the floor of her room, all blue and coughing, and immediately called 999.
"I tried to give her her pump but she wouldn't let me. She fell off her bed onto the floor. I turned her light on and I saw her hands and her face were blue. That's when I rang 999," Shanice Clark was quoted as saying by The Metro.
She was rushed to the Royal Gwent hospital where she died of bronchial asthma before her mother could reach.
Doctor Rowe, on the other hand, said she had already called the next patient when she was informed that Ellie-May had arrived by the receptionist. "She said that the girl had arrived late. She said I'll tell her to come back tomorrow morning shall I and I said yes," said Rowe, as reported by the website.
Wendy James, a senior coroner, said that it was "not acceptable" that the clinic turned away a five-year-old girl without any check-up or advice. A statement from Dr Rowe was also read out, which said: "Dr Rowe knows that nothing can be said to Ellie-May's family to make a difference but she would like to say how truly sorry she is."