A DULOCH father has been left enraged by a GP surgery’s same-day appointment system which he says “fails miserably” for working parents.

Sean Dolan-Osborne’s family have been registered at Linburn Road Health Centre for as long as it has been open but said they have recently spent weeks unsuccessfully trying to get an appointment.

He said: “I thought my situation was severe when I attempted to ring 100 times one morning but then a friend told me he has made 250 attempts! How are families supposed to run their lives?

“Do they think it’s reasonable for someone to have to phone up to 100 times whilst commuting one hour into Edinburgh, for them to spend an hour in the office, then drive back over to Fife to attend the only appointment available?

“I’ve just lost the will to live.”

His wife Shabana is experiencing joint pain and requires additional medication for another condition, while his teenage daughter is suffering from severe acne.

Sean himself is trying to get blood pressure and cholesterol checks and has concerns over prolonged numbness in his right arm, but none of them has managed to secure an appointment despite “hundreds” of attempts.

“My wife has been trying on and off for a month to obtain a suitable appointment, to no avail,” Sean explained. “I arrived at the surgery on Friday at 11am with my daughter – one person on reception and a queue literally outside the door, but alas, both of us left disappointed.

“My wife has previously complained to the practice, but their policy of same-day appointments only still stands.

“The health centre covers the Duloch area, a place heavily populated by folk originally from Edinburgh or who at least work there. This is where the policy of same-day appointments fails miserably.”

Patients have to ring at 8.30 am every morning to try and get an appointment. Sean said the health centre adopted the system of same-day appointment last year but it has been an “absolute disaster”.

Sean said he decided to register his family with a different surgery but was unable to do so. The Press highlighted last December that four out of the five surgeries in Dunfermline are not accepting new patients.

The Dolan-Osborne family were unable to register elsewhere and say they have no choice but to stay at Linburn.

Sean continued: “I was then given a phone number for NHS Practitioner Services in Edinburgh to be told that they will not help me move as I’m already registered with Linburn.

“I didn’t realise the NHS had a policy of forcing patients to remain with a GP practice they are unhappy with.

“Our only option at the present time is for all three of us to attend our local minor injuries or A&E department, which I find utterly unacceptable.

“I find the situation utterly ridiculous, all whilst Fife Council continues to allow more and more unaffordable houses to be built in and around Duloch.

“Where’s the basic infrastructure? It’s like something from a third world country.”

NHS Fife medical director, Dr Chris McKenna, said: “In line with other areas in Scotland, Fife is experiencing challenges in the recruitment of GPs. We are aware Linburn Road Health Centre is experiencing particular difficulties at this time, due to recent retirement and maternity leave. NHS Fife is working closely with the practice to support recruitment efforts and minimise any disruption for patients and staff.

“In the meantime, a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team works within Linburn Road to support the GP complement and enhance the delivery of high-quality care. Patients can still be allocated to all practices in Dunfermline.”