STOURBRIDGE MP Suzanne Webb says she has had a "positive and honest meeting" with bosses at Lion Health GP surgery over its telephone system woes.

Patients have complained about problems getting through on the telephone to book an appointment with a GP and also raised concerns about securing face to face appointments with a doctor since the pandemic began in March.

Managers at Lion Health, the biggest in the Stourbridge area – with around 30,000 patients, have said they are working hard to resolve the issues and on Friday they discussed the problems and the pandemic via Zoom with Conservative MP Ms Webb.

She said: “This was a positive and honest meeting where I asked about the problems with patients getting through on the phone and also seeing a doctor face-to-face.

“Lion Health assured me it is working hard to improve the telephone system as it has brought in NHS experts to identify how to manage call traffic better.

"I have asked to be kept up to date on progress as I do share patients’ frustrations.

“The surgery was honest about the issue and the challenges it faces.

"However, Lion Health has worked incredibly hard to remain open to treat people during the pandemic and its online system and its receptionists receive good satisfaction ratings.

"I also wanted to therefore take the opportunity to thank all the staff for their work through this pandemic.

“The practice is now working on plans to ensure any Covid vaccine is ready and available to be given when the time comes. This is also a challenge and it will be a busy winter.”

In September, Lion Health bosses said they were working "extremely hard" to resolve the issues and give patients timely access to healthcare after the surgery in Lowndes Road, Wollaston, was rated the most difficult in the borough to get through to on the phone in NHS England's GP Patient Survey, published in July.

No-one from Lion Health or Dudley CCG wished to comment further on the problems surrounding the telephone system, which at times has left patients calling in to book an appointment as far back as 124th in the queue.

But a spokesperson for the surgery told the News that healthcare staff were busy preparing for a possible roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.

She said: “As the public would expect, detailed planning is underway across the NHS to deliver a local coronavirus vaccination service.

"Those plans will be finalised when we have certainty on when and what vaccines will be approved for use.”