I AM a pensioner patient at the Fisher Medical Centre, Skipton, who has read with interest the Craven Herald  coverage of patient access to that centre (Patients at GP practices 'let down by online booking system', March 8; GP surgery responds to claim it is running a 'deeply flawed service', February 22).

I have recently asked fellow pensioners friends of mine who live in various parts of the country how long it takes for them to access a GP. 80 per cent stated they could get the same , or next, day, appointments every time they phone.

I submitted an online request to Fisher well over a week ago. About four days later I was texted to be told I would have to have a face to face appointment and would be contacted with a date and time. I am still waiting as I write.

It appears to me that Fisher Medical's system of patient access is too obsessed with saving their GPs from unnecessary, direct contact in order not to waste their time. One can understand their concern but at Fisher it has gone too far. One feels one has won the lottery if you are able to get a face to face appointment.

I recognise how precious GP's time is, but it is worth remembering that research shows a much better diagnosis can be elicited from actually listening to the patient face to face.

Phil Lee

Elslack, Skipton