A woman died of multiple organ failure after a receptionist at a privately run health centre thought she “wasn’t that sick”.

Madhumita Mandal, 30, spent nearly an hour vomiting in the reception of Virgin Care’s urgent care centre at Croydon University Hospital (CUH) while a doctor and a nurse completed paperwork, unaware there were patients waiting.

She was eventually transferred to the hospital’s NHS emergency department by a nurse, but there were more delays as doctors quarrelled over the urgency of her condition.

Mrs Mandal, of Paul Gardens, Croydon, finally underwent surgery on a ruptured ovarian cyst nearly eight hours after arriving at hospital on September 7, 2013, but her condition deteriorated and she died four days later of multiple organ failure and sepsis.

Mrs Mandal died two months after Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors noted Virgin Care patients were “streamed for treatment” by non-clinical staff. Their fears were not published until after her death.

Receptionists were encouraged to ask doctors for advice, but some staff members were “not comfortable” with the process.

The CQC said: “We were concerned that there was a risk of a patient with a serious illness or injury being wrongly streamed and their condition deteriorating.”

However, inspectors said the system was required by the then-Croydon Primary Care Trust as a condition of the contract.

Croydon Coroner’s Court heard yesterday that on Mrs Mandal’s arrival at the urgent care centre a receptionist, trained as a mortgage advisor and without a medical background, judged her condition not an emergency.

Triveni Dhavade, who had worked at CUH for 17 years, said: “Vomiting has never been treated as urgent.”

The receptionist left a note for clinical staff informing them about Mrs Mandal’s arrival at 7.24am, but she did not contact them directly.

The note was not seen until 7.50am, when a night nurse opted to leave it for day staff due to start at 8am.

Her husband, Prabhanjan Behera, said: “We were sitting in the reception for almost an hour before anything happened. She was lying on the bench vomiting.”

Mrs Mandal was finally seen at 8.15am by day-shift nurse Lynda Walder, who sent her to emergency care.

She later reported her concerns about the “streaming” system and told the inquest: “She should have been taken directly to emergency. I just felt the process failed her.”

Mrs Mandal was seen by junior doctor Jessica Davies in the accident and emergency department, who advised transfer to intensive care.

But the court heard her suggestion was rejected by registrar Dr Ademola Tokan-Lawal, who said the patient was dehydrated.

After further disagreement Dr Davies referred Mrs Mandal to intensive care herself.

Mrs Mandal’s condition continued to worsen after surgery, and she was pronounced dead at 2.10pm on September 11.

The inquest continues today.