HORRIFIED Tracey Stebbing was left waiting a month for a doctor’s appointment after finding a lump on her leg she fears could be cancer.

She was left on hold for two hours after calling Eldene Surgery. And when the 56-year-old’s call was finally answered she was sent to Moredon Surgery.

And they told to see her own doctor.

Tracey went back to Eldene and the receptionist told her to go to the walk-in centre on Islington Street.

The surgeries are two one of five managed by fiasco-hit IMH, which has seen furious patients struggle to get appointments.

Tracey said: “I broke down at the walk-in centre because I’m going through a lot.

“I have to look after my mum and dad because my mum is blind and she can’t walk and my dad has two terminal heart conditions.

“This has been stressful because my brother took his life two years ago and now this.

“I told the doctor everything and I said I was in counselling.

“He didn’t seem that sympathetic he just wanted to get home and I was just handed some cream for the lump on my leg.”

Tracey has now been booked in to see a doctor in the last week of August but that’s a month after her first phone call.

She said: “It’s understandable people are suffering with mental health problems and other illnesses when they can’t even see their doctor.

“I’m lucky that I work part-time and so I can be on the phone and be left on hold. Whereas other people don’t have the time because they could start work when their doctors open and finish when they close.”

This isn’t the only time she has struggled to get an appointment.

In July, Tracey was left on hold for three hours.

She said: “It’s just horrendous that people can’t get an appointment. My friend was saying to me at work how different her doctors is compared to mine. She never struggles to get an appointment.”

A spokesperson for Eldene Surgery said: “Providing our patients with the best possible care is our top priority. To ensure this, we have a triage system in place that allocates appointments based on the perceived urgency of their conditions, as well as the availability of practitioners to see them.”

IMH took over Taw Hill, Eldene and Pheonix surgeries and the Abbey Meads and Moredon medical centres. But the company quit as pressures got high after there were protests outside the surgeries. A number of them were led by Labour candidates Bazil Solomon and Kate Linnegar.

Support has been given to the practices by the Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions health services, it is trying to find an NHS provider that can replace the company.

Two meetings will be held by the CCG next month to discuss IMH with patients.

Ms Linnegar said: “These meetings will give people the chance to share their concerns. IMH aren’t staying and we have been told we won’t get another private company but we need them to explain to us how they are going to solve the issues that have been caused.”

They are at the Western Community Centre in Cheney Manor on September 2 at 6.30pm and September 3 at 9.30am.

A spokesperson for the Swindon CCG said: “We are always keen to hear about, as well as investigate, any incidents of people struggling to access the healthcare they need.

“We would encourage anyone who has experienced difficulties in this area to contact our Patient Advice and Complaints Team by calling 0300 200 8844 or sending an email to scwcsu.palscomplaints@nhs.net.”