A FATHER called a doctor’s surgery 38 times in one morning to try to get an appointment for his baby.
Clint Nagi wasn’t able to register his two-month-old son, Jack, at the Long Road Surgery, Canvey, for two weeks, despite having been registered at the surgery himself for 20 years.
The future of the surgery in Long Road was thrown into doubt last June following the death of popular GP Dr Umer Suleman-Qureshi.
The NHS announced in March it would keep the busy surgery open for its 2,300 patients, with Dr Muhammed Ashar Ayub running it until a replacement can be found.
Mr Nagi, 38, of Second Avenue, Canvey, said: “I’m still registered there, but after 38 calls just to get through, we are changing to another surgery.
“My son is registered now, after I insisted he should be, as it has been my family practice for 20 years.
“However, after further disappointment I am left with no option but to change doctors.”
Mr Nagi’s baby was unable to have his six-week check-up until he was eight weeks old because of the delays and the dad was forced to call the NHS 111 helpline when his son became unwell.
He said: “The past four months have been a nightmare.
“Since the death of Dr Qureshi things have taken a rapid decline.
“We tried to register our new baby at the surgery to be told it probably would be better to go to another surgery as ‘we are very understaffed’.”
Carolyn Larsen, head of primary care for NHS England Essex Area Team, said: “We are unaware of any problems with staffing cover at Long Road surgery and the practice continues to be open to register new patients who live within the practice area.
“If patients are having problems in accessing services at Long Road, we would encourage them to speak directly to the practice manager there.
“Alternatively, patients can contact the NHS England Customer Care Centre, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 3112233.”