A HEALTH boss has said sorry to a councillor after he was told there were no doctors to see him at Wycombe Hospital's Minor Injuries Unit.

Cllr Darren Hayday told a panel of healthcare officials on Friday that he had travelled to the Minor Injuries Unit the previous Saturday at 5am after severe stomach pain - only to be told to go to another hospital.

The three staff, including a nurse, had referred him, saying no GP was available, he said.

Cllr Hayday said: "Last Saturday morning throughout the nights I had stomach cramps I was pretty certain I wasn't dying but I was in some pain. I didn't phone 111 (the non-emergency line). I got in my car and decided to MIU.

"I drove down there pressed the door bell and was confronted by two staff behind the desk and a lady I assume was a nurse. I explained my symptoms and to my surprise there wasn't a doctor anywhere to my knowledge. I don't know if there was a single doctor in all of Wycombe hospital."

He went against their advice to go to Wexham or Stoke Mandeville hospitals, going instead to John Radcliffe in Oxford because he said experience showed him it was quicker.

He asked the health panel: "Why was there not a doctor there? We seem to be hearing a recurring theme of a lack of doctors out of hours."

Kevin Barnet, of Buckinghamshire Urgent Care, apologised to him.

He said that in the first seven and a half months since MIU was set up between 10pm and 8am there has been an average patients of 4.1 patients, with just one needing a GP in that whole period.

The unit is staff 24/7 by advanced nurse practitioners, he explained, and GPs up until 10pm and often til midnight. A doctor is available for consultancy all day seven days a week, he said. In Cllr Hayday's case, the GP must have been visiting a patient and therefore been out of the building, he said.

Mr Barnet told him: "In your case I think there's been some miscommunication and I'd like to look into that personally."

He stressed the need for more patients to dial 111, which will give them a scheduled appointment, having discussed the nature of the problem. He added: "We are trying to get the message right about who is attending."

Chief Executive Anne also apologised to Cllr Brian Adams after he revealed a personal experience with his family last Christmas when technicians were not available to operate equipment, leading to bed blocking . Mrs Eden said: "That's not the service we want for patients."