A pensioner suffering from a lung condition has claimed his GP surgery refused to offer him an appointment and told him to call 111 or go to A&E instead.
Barry Domaille, 85, said he called Rosebank Health Surgery in Gloucester as he needed an inhaler in the last week of September.
The man, who was recently diagnosed with emphysema – a condition that causes shortness of breath – claimed the receptionist refused to arrange a consultation with a doctor.
Mr Domaille, who is also caring for his wife, was allegedly told to either call 111 or go to A&E, Gloucestershire Live reports.
Bosses at the surgery have now urged the pensioner to get in touch to discuss his experience.
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Mr Domaille said: “Basically I have a health problem where I struggle breathing. I have been recently diagnosed with emphysema.
“I was diagnosed at hospital but as yet nothing has been prescribed. I rang the doctor in hope to get an inhaler prescribed to help me.
“I rang the Rosebank surgery and told them my symptoms. The receptionist told me they can not deal with it as they are a primary care so to ring 111 or 999. I just needed medicine so I could breathe.”
Mr Domaille’s daughter told him to call the surgery again without describing his symptoms, but asking to speak to the doctor.
However, the man claimed that when he called back, the receptionist told him she needed to write something in the system to get the GP to call the patient.
Mr Domaille said that 10 minutes later, the GP called to discuss his wife’s condition and towards the end of their conversation, he mentioned his health issues too.
He said: “I explained the situation with my breathing and there and then a prescription was written and being sent to the surgery.
“Then I had an email through from the reception saying I had to tell the receptionist what is the matter with me to satisfy her a doctor’s call would be needed.”
Following the phone conversation, the GP issued him with an inhaler, Mr Domaille claimed.
He said: “I know everyone makes mistakes but it seemed the receptionist did not want to know at all. Something has got to be done. It is a crazy situation.
“We are 85 years old. We are not looking for sympathy but something has got to be done.
“The way things are right now, it is far worse than anything I have ever know. The whole system is at fault.”
Rosebank Health Practice Manager Partner Susie Graham has urged Mr Domaille to get in touch to discuss his concerns.
A spokesperson from NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are very sorry to hear that this patient is unhappy with the service he received. We would urge him to contact the practice so that they can look into the matter fully.
“Most patients who contact their surgery, either online or by phone, are assessed by a suitably trained member of the practice team to decide whether they need to be seen in person, via a phone or video consultation or if they would benefit from a visit to a community pharmacy.
“We have been working very closely with our GP surgeries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that appropriate arrangements and safeguards are in place to see patients face to face if their medical need requires it.
“If the matter cannot be resolved with the practice, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can look into this and liaise with the practice. The NHS also has a complaints process in place to look into any concerns raised and our PALS team would be happy to provide details.”
The Mirror has contacted Rosebank Health Surgery for comment.
It comes as new analysis this week has shown that in some areas in England there is only one GP for 2,000 people.
Hull now has one GP for every 2,821 people, more than double the 1,279 people per GP in Wirral.
The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the analysis, have called on the Government to train more GPs.
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said: “These figures reveal a postcode lottery of care that is leaving people struggling to get GP appointments or waiting weeks to be seen.
“But instead of fixing the GP shortage crisis, the Conservatives are making it worse by failing to train the new doctors we desperately need.”
This morning, we reported that the NHS treatment backlog has hit a record 5.7 million with almost 10,000 waiting more than two years.
The health service is under unprecedented pressure as a record 5,025 people had to wait more than 12 hours at A&Es in England last month.
A record 104,875 people waited at more than four hours from the decision to admit to actually being admitted on to wards.
A total of 9,754 people were waiting more than two years to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August 2021.