A YOUNG boy with suspected chicken pox was forced to wait outside a doctor’s surgery in the rain for 20 minutes, his family have claimed.

Little Lucas Sharples is currently recovering from the highly-contagious disease but the four-year-old’s grandfather, David Friend, has criticised the GP’s surgery that diagnosed his illness after they refused to let him into the waiting room.

Mr Friend says he called Stonehill Medical Centre, in Piggott Street, Farnworth, at midday on January 25 to say his grandson had suspected chicken pox and he was given a 4pm appointment.

But when Mr Friend dropped Lucas off at the surgery, along with his daughter Stacey Friend, he was appalled to find they were not allowed inside and were told to wait outside in the rain.

The 48-year-old, who lives in Tudor Avenue, Farnworth, said the surgery was aware he had booked and could have had a separate room ready if they wanted to keep the St James’ Primary School pupil away from other patients. He said: “I was annoyed that he was told to stay outside. It was pouring down and he had a temperature and it was 20 minutes before they got him in a room.”

Mr Friend said Lucas, of Greenfold Avenue, Farnworth, was left upset by the incident and he believes the medical centre should rethink their policy.

A spokesperson for Stonehill Medical Centre said they were unable to comment on individual cases but she said the centre followed Health Protection Agency guidelines for infectious diseases which means that people with symptoms would be asked to wait in a separate room.

She added: “There is presently a measles outbreak. The Health Protection Agency has advised that any child who may have measles should not be allowed in the waiting room but wait in a designated room.

“We may have several cases of suspected measles in one day. Patients are asked to inform us of their arrival and taken to a room apart from the main waiting room until seen by a clinician.”