A MEDICAL centre with almost 7,000 registered patients is facing a sixth day without a phone line after a fault remained unfixed.

Farrow Medical Centre, Otley Road, reported a fault in its phone line on Friday, February 9, immediately to BT and the surgery diverted any urgent incoming calls to its out-of-hours service for advice and triage.

The practice said BT did arrange for an Openreach engineer to attend the practice the following day and said the fault was fixed.

But when the receptionist tried the line at noon that day, it was no longer working, claims the site.

The practice contacted BT over the weekend and were told that the earliest they could send another engineer was today.

A service engineer was sent from Openreach to the centre today but was unable to fix the problem until at least tomorrow.

An Openreach spokesperson apologised for the delay in fixing the fault and said its engineers were working on restoring it as soon as possible.

Farrow Medical Centre has 6,800 registered patients and a number of them are elderly, frail and/or receiving palliative care. The practice covers areas including Eccleshill, Bradford Moor, Bolton and Idle and 12 residential and care homes in the district.

Fiona Reid, practice manager, spoke of her frustration over the delays to getting the line fixed and said she was concerned patients would seek alternative treatment at hospital when it was not necessary.

She said: “There will be a fallout from this for days and weeks.

“We are still phoneless. It is a complete waste of resources for us. It is beyond our control.

“We have not experienced any negativity from patients over this.

“I feel extremely badly for patients on this. it will be until at least this morning before it can be fixed.

 “On behalf of the doctors and staff at Farrow Medical Centre, we sincerely apologise for the current problem with our telephones.

“If patients can get down to the practice our receptionists and clinical staff will be more than happy to help them.

“Although it is little consolation, out contract with BT is due for renewal shortly. That isn’t going to happen.”

An Openreach spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the disruption of service to staff and patients at the Farrow Medical Centre.
"Engineers from Openreach have attended today and confirmed there is no fault on the line itself.
"It is likely the problem lies in the switchboard so BT are arranging a switch engineer to attend as soon as possible."

Openreach is a division of BT that owns and maintains the telephone wires, ducts, cabinets and exchanges that connect nearly all homes and businesses in the UK to the national broadband and telephone network.