A DEESIDE doctor's surgery and the health board that runs it have been slammed after closing suddenly amid reports of having no available GPs.

St Mark's Dee View surgery, in Connah's Quay, was closed on Monday - leaving dozens of patients with appointments booked in the dark about them.

Local residents took to social media to complain about the service - with some claiming that they'd be informed that the surgery had no available doctors.

They have described the service as an "absolute disgrace" and a "shambles".

One person said: "I tried to get an appointment for my son with a rash that wouldn't disappear, was told no doctors were there to see him so we ended up in A&E."

Another person added: "I’ve been trying to get through since last Thursday for results. The answer phone said results were only available after 2pm but after then it was closed."

A further comment said: "It’s been a nightmare, I’ve waited two weeks now for a prescription."

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has apologised over Monday's issues at the surgery and said the service fell "below the standard that they can expect", with an "urgent review of systems and process" at St Mark's to be carried out. 

The surgery is aligned with Quay Surgery which shares the same building, with Quay Surgery using the downstairs of the building and St Mark's Dee View the upstairs.

But the issues appear solely to affect St Mark's Dee View.

Another person informed the Leader of their experiences with the practice, saying they had been attempting to make an appointment from 8am and were still trying by midday.

They said: "I eventually managed to get through on June 22 but was told no appointments available and to try the E consultancy form which I followed and completed and was told that a doctor would review my answers and respond before 6.30pm on June 23.

"By 10.34am this was updated to the first available slot for a doctor to contact you twill not be before July 27 - which is disgraceful.

"How long is a patient expected to wait for an appointment these days?

"Is this the process now that a patient has to go online to book an appointment these days? How do you expect an elderly person to process this?

"This is unethical and concerning and a complete shambles and something has to be done regarding the health board."

They added: "My health is affecting my every day life which is concerning for myself and my family."

On the sudden surgery's sudden closure on Monday, they said: "Never in my life would I expect a GP practice to close its doors for primary care.

"This is a health crisis for our community when there is no duty of care which is appalling and very frightening and our public services are being unsupported.

"The situation at the practice has been getting worse over the last two years.

"Patients have been told to use the facilities in A&E - this is not best practice and should not be used for general appointments."

Dr Chris Stockport, BCUHB's executive director of primary and community care, said: "I would like to apologise for the problems that patients experienced at St Mark's Dee View Surgery on Monday June 28.

"We do everything possible to ensure that all GP practices are fully staffed but there are very rare occasions where it isn’t possible to cover the GP shifts. On the day in question at St Mark's there were two doctors absent due to sickness.

"In this situation, we would normally put processes in place to ensure that patient’s needs can still be met. This can be either through providing an appointment with another member of the clinical team, arranging an appointment with the GP on the following day or arranging an urgent appointment at another Practice.  

"At St Mark’s on the day in question it would appear that these options were not explained to patients, and this must have been distressing for patients contacting the surgery.

"This service that patients received on that day falls below the standard that they can expect, and we are carrying out an urgent review of systems and process at St Mark's to ensure that there is no repeat of these problems."