Patients of an inundated surgery have been told they can no longer book appointments in advance.

The Nook Surgery has suspended advanced bookings after patients were left waiting four weeks for an appointment with the practice’s only GP.

Instead patients have been queuing at the Salendine Nook practice in the morning in a manner described by one patient as ‘like a soup kitchen’.

The surgery said the suspension of advanced bookings was temporary and was necessary to clear the practice’s backlog.

But patients have hit out at the policy.

Doctors surgery next to Salendine Shopping Centre, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield.

One angry patient said: “This surgery no longer lets you book appointments. You have to queue up on the morning with the rest of the crowd and hope there is something left for you much like a soup kitchen.

“This service is not suitable for people who work (or have) children in school. I have a long term condition and (how) can this be managed effectively when I cannot schedule regular appointments?

“I might as well just go to A&E or a drop-in clinic as they will at least give a better service than this poor excuse for a service.”

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Another disgruntled patient said: “I’m truly appalled that this essentially has turned into an emergency only clinic.

“How can any long term conditions like my wife’s and son’s be managed when there can be no consistency in appointments?

“Also how are we to plan school attendance if we have no idea until after school has started if my son has an appointment or not?”

A practice spokesman said the surgery was able to provide an extra six appointments on the day by suspending advanced bookings.

The spokesman said advanced bookings would be reinstated but she admitted the surgery was struggling to cope with the rising demand which included patients turning up with inappropriate minor ailments such as coughs and colds.

She said: “It’s a sticking plaster. When we go back to pre-booked appointments it will build up again.

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“We’re a single-handed practice without the space to put another doctor in.”

The spokesman added the surgery had to continue to accept new patients.

“We’re not allowed to the close the list,” she said. “None of this is a satisfactory situation. Patients may think this is unique to their surgery but we’re no different to any GP surgery.”