I VISITED the Whinfield doctors’ surgery in Darlington on the October 7 for an appointment with the nurse and arrived six minutes late.

I live in Cockerton and had to drop my car off at a garage on McMullen Road where I was slightly delayed before walking to the surgery.

On arriving at the surgery I attempted to use the Automated Sign in Machine but it would not accept my details.

The receptionist told me that the machine is designed not to accept your details if you are nine minutes late – well, what’s three minutes between friends?

I then queued up to speak properly to the receptionist, and after 10 minutes in the queue I was told she would have to contact the nurse to see if she would still see me. My worst fears were realised when the receptionist said the nurse refused to see me.

I explained that I have attended the surgery for approximately six years and have never been late and on many occasions I have had to wait to be seen but I never felt it necessary to complain as I know people are busy.

However, I would expect a little discretion when they decide to turn people away.

If people are consistently late I can understand them not being seen but I do not fall into that category.

Prior to leaving I asked what the complaints procedure was and the receptionist said she would see if the practice manager was available.

Someone then came out and stated that there is nothing at all they could do if the nurse decided she could not see me.

Later on in the afternoon I had a text from the surgery asking for me to carry out a survey regarding my appointment, I thought it was worth taking the time to complete the survey as you would imagine responses were not complimentary.

On October 8, I visited Moorlands surgery to pick up an application form for joining their surgery hoping that I will have more luck with my appointments in the future.

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had any interesting experiences at Whinfield surgery or at any others for that matter.

Geoff Hamilton, Darlington