A former councillor says the new NHS emergency phone number is not good enough after her hand ballooned in size when she was attacked by wasps.
Theresa Woodbridge, 41, was putting the bins out at her home in Garrolds Close, Swanley, when the yellow and black insects struck, stinging her hand five times.
Cllr Robert Woodbridge and wife Theresa, who was attacked by wasps in a bin bag
The mother, who lives with her Swanley Town Council councillor husband Robert, said: “I was crying where it hurt so much. I put my hands under the tap and then rang the new 111 number and explained to them what happened.
“I didn’t realise there were wasps in the bag, they just came right out and started stinging me.
“I told them on the phone I was feeling dizzy - and I didn’t know if I was allergic to them, I just needed some help. I kept asking what I should do. They said they’d forward my case and get back to me.”
The South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), which runs the non-emergency number which was switched on in March as a one-stop-shop for people with minor ailments across Kent, Medway, Surrey and Sussex, says it did call back, but Mrs Woodbridge was not there.
Theresa's arm that was stung.
Mr and Mrs Woodbridge say they gave up waiting and went to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, to get treatment. Mrs Woodbridge was told drugs for her arthritis had lowered her immune system causing more of a problem from the stings and she was given antibiotics.
Mr Woodbridge added: “The staff at the hospital were very good indeed at the treatment given to Theresa. It is, however, obvious that the out-of-hours GP service is not working.”
A SECAmb spokesman told the Messenger that a clinician did ring Mrs Woodbridge an hour later, by which point she had already left for hospital.
He said: “Her son answered the phone and explained that his mother had gone to hospital as her condition had worsened. We explained that a clinician would call back with advice, though if the condition worsens she should seek medical advice, which she has done.”