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A FATHER told of his shock last night that he couldn’t register his family with his GP surgery – because staff there need to devote extra time to non-­English-speaking patients.

Christopher Dowsett, 22, wanted to enrol partner Amy, 18, and their one-year-old daughter Lily at the surgery near his home in Sheffield.

Mr Dowsett was already a patient and when Amy and Lily moved from Doncaster to live with him he went to register them at the surgery in the Firth Park area of the city.

His daughter was due to have her MMR vaccinations but the couple were told they could not be registered as the surgery’s new-patient list was closed.

A letter from the surgery listed the reasons – including an increase in non-English speaking patients who “require additional time and resources to ensure they receive the high level of service to which all of our patients have the right”.

According to official figures the number of Asian families in the area is four times the average for the whole city.

Mr Dowsett said: “I want my family to be registered at the same place as me but to just be told ‘no’ is disgraceful.”

Practice manager, Julian

Stevens, refused to comment but a notice in the surgery tells visitors its books are closed.

According to official figures the number of Asian families in the area is four times the average for the whole city.

However, the closure of the list has not been approved by the Sheffield Primary Care Trust, which said it would be working with the surgery to ensure it remains open to new patients.

A spokeswoman for NHS Sheffield apologised and said there were other difficulties at the surgery, not just the issue of the numbers of foreign patients, that were causing problems.

She said there had been problems following the alleged murder of one of its former GPs, Dr Colin Shawcross, 58. Two other GPs at the surgery are off sick, placing extra strain on the practice. continues here

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