A Mile Cross pensioner has spoken of his distress at being hospitalised with fluid on his lungs, just hours after trying to arrange a face-to-face appointment with his GP.

Trevor Palmer, 74, has atrial fibrillation meaning his heart chambers are out of sync and called Old Palace Medical Practice on Thursday, February 16, as he was struggling to breathe.

The retired firefighter, who lives in Drayton Road, was called back by his GP who told him they would not be able to see him that day but told him to return the day after.

The next day, he was in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital drowning in his own bodily fluids after an ambulance was sent to his home following a 999 call.

Norwich Evening News:

Mr Palmer spent two days in the N&N and is now beginning to feel better, however, he is disappointed by the way his surgery treated him and has submitted a formal complaint.

He said: "I was poorly two weeks ago and spent most of that time fighting frigging GPs and now this has happened.

"I called up and said I had breathing issues and at first they refused to see me at all even though I have a history of being in and out of A&E.

"They should've got me in and given me a blood test as that would have solved it all.

"I've had trouble ever since I came out of the fire service in 2007.

Norwich Evening News:

"I'm not saying I know best, but I spent two years on the ambulance crew so I have some idea when something needs looking at.

"In the end we had an argument on the phone and they agreed to see me the next day, but 11 hours later I was rushed to hospital.

"I'm totally fed up with this I've written in to them so we'll see what they do but I'm not holding out a lot of hope."

Mr Palmer said he respects the staff who work at the practice but said he has had issues with its GPs.

Norwich Evening News:

He added: "Most of the receptionists are really good and the ambulance are magnificent. I like to think I'm a kind old gentleman I treat everyone kindly.

"But with the GPs I've had nothing but trouble, when I called them I told them everything, I said I was very poorly, but I was denied.

"I wanted my pills in advance the other day as I was going on holiday and these are the pills where if I don't have them, I will have a stroke.

"It was all a cock up. The pharmacy is struggling too."

A spokeswoman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases, however, we would like to wish this patient a speedy recovery.

"If you need urgent medical help or advice, are unsure what to do, or your symptoms are worsening, visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser.

"For less urgent health needs, contact your GP practice or local pharmacist. In a life-threatening emergency, such as symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 999.”

In a GP survey last year 15pc of patients at the Old Palace Road practice said they had avoided making an appointment as it was "too difficult".

Age UK Norfolk raised concerns in December that not enough patients were being seen in person, particularly those who were elderly and unlikely to be able to undergo digital appointments.

That came as face-to-face appointments recovered to 75pc in Norfolk after the pandemic but with five surgeries still seeing less than half of patients in person, with Thorpewood Surgery in Thorpe St Andrew seeing just 36.5pc.