An out of hours of doctor came to the rescue after a frustrated man struggled to get the medication he had been prescribed by his GP.

Paul Falco, 54, went to Old Palace Medical Centre two weeks ago to ask for his asthma pump prescription ahead of a trip to Turkey but was told he was not allowed to have it.

Mr Falco, who lives in Dolphin Grove and works as a carer, had been given a repeat prescription due to mould problems in his home - which is currently undergoing work - but receptionists said they did not have permission from his doctor to give him a new pump.

Norwich Evening News:

He asked to see the doctor but was not allowed. He called to book an appointment, but his pleas fell on deaf ears as he continued to feel unwell.

In a last-ditch attempt to get his pumps before the trip, Mr Falco visited the surgery and refused to leave until he saw a doctor, who told him he could not have his prescription as he had only had one the previous week - which he had used up.

He said: "I'm having regular problems down there. They told me 'we've got 7,000 customers we can't return calls' and I thought 'what, all at the same time?'.

"I've been told because of the mould in my flat I can have as many as I want and they knew I needed it for my trip.

"When I went to try and see a doctor they even threatened to call the police.

Norwich Evening News:

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"I'm going to report them to the General Medical Council because I'm sick to death of them.

"When I said I was going to report them they wouldn't give me ID either.

"They don't care about the patients and it annoys me. They think they're God's gift - although I apologised that I got angry at the time."

Worried he would not get his prescription ahead of the flight, Mr Falco called 111 who gave him a GP out of hours appointment.

The GP out of hours service is based at the walk-in centre building in Rouen Road but the services were not provided by the walk-in centre, which shuts at 9pm.

Mr Falco was given his pumps and staff also discovered he had developed a chest infection as a result of not being able to use the inhaler.

Norwich Evening News:

And it came in handy as Mr Falco was in Turkey during a distressing time, when the earthquake struck on February 6, which didn't directly impact him but did cut short his trip.

Mr Falco's frustrations emerge soon after 74-year-old Trevor Palmer raised concerns about Old Palace Medical Practice, having been rushed to A&E hours after he had been refused an appointment with a GP.

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A spokeswoman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney said it was unable to comment on individual cases but said surgeries across the county were "incredibly busy".

She said: "Our health and care staff continue to go above and beyond to provide the right care and treatment in ways that are safe and effective.

"We urge people to continue to be kind and patient to GP practice staff; they have and continue to work incredibly hard to provide the care you need.

“Patients are urged to contact NHS 111 if they need urgent medical help or advice, or if their symptoms are worsening."

The spokeswoman added that NHS 111 offers fully trained advisers who can direct people to the most appropriate place for care, such as the walk-in centre.

111 can also help with urgent care, although 999 remains the best number for emergencies.

The out of hours GP service is not included within the scope of the walk-in centre consultation.