Hundreds sign petition over ‘diabolical’ appointment wait times at Sheffield GP surgery

Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre
Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre
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Hundreds of residents have signed a petition criticising the time they have to wait for appointments and a new telephone booking system at a Sheffield doctor’s surgery.

Almost 800 people have signed the petition calling for a better service at Darnall Primary Care Centre.

Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre

Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre

The multi-million pound doctors’ surgery opened its doors in November 2012.

Patients say they are unhappy with appointment waiting times and a new telephone system and claim the attitude of reception staff is unhelpful.

Petition organiser and Darnall resident Hiqma Humaidan, aged 28, said she has given up going to the surgery because it is so difficult to get an appointment.

Ms Humaidan suffers from epilepsy and polycystic ovary syndrome as well as keratoconus, a thinning disorder of the cornea that causes visual distortion and she fears she isn’t getting the help she needs.

Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre

Hiqma Humaiden outside the Darnall Primary Care Centre

She added: “There are not enough resources for the number of patients.

“It is diabolical, people can’t get an appointment for two to three months.

“They are ringing for hours and no-one answers the phone.”

Ms Humaidan plans to take the petition to MPs and councillors in the area and has spent months knocking on residents’ doors to ask them about the service.

Rachel Pickering, primary care services manager at the centre, said: “We are aware that there are problems with the telephone system and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

“We have been addressing these issues with our service provider and technical faults have been identified.

“These are being addressed as a matter of urgency.”

She added that additional call lines have been opened to answer more calls and that the surgery is recruiting more doctors.

The petition was signed by 785 people who use Darnall Primary Care Centre.

Comments collected alongside the petition criticised the service saying it often took days to book an appointment.

One patient said: “I am so frustrated and angry.”

Another said: “The call service is very bad, they kept saying call the next day, week after week.”

Another patient added that when they called the surgery it took three to four days to get through to make an appointment and said that there is a ‘terrible appointment wait’.