PATIENTS faced a long wait for podiatry appointments in Inverclyde - because a new phone system wouldn't work.

A local woman raised the alarm when she failed to get through to arrange a routine check-up for her 92-year-old mum.

After the Tele contacted the health board, bosses carried out an investigation and fixed the problem.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde have introduced a centralised system and patients can no longer book through Greenock Health Centre.

The local woman who alerted us said: "My mum needs to have her feet checked every 12 weeks but we didn't even know there is a new system.

"I tried to make an appointment and was given a number to phone instead but I could never get through.

"It would keep me in a queue for up to 11 minutes and then just cut me off."

When she went to Greenock Health Centre in person she was told they wouldn't be able to help and simply handed her a phone and told her to ring the same number.

She said: "There were other people in the same boat and the number still didn't work.

"It is all very well having a new system but they have to make sure it actually works."

The health board has said sorry for the hiccup with the new 'single management system'.

A spokeswoman said: "We would like to apologise to this patient and any others across our board area who have experienced difficulties when calling our podiatry service.

"These issues were urgently investigated as soon as we became aware of them and we are pleased to confirm that they have now been resolved.

"NHS GGC introduced a new booking system for patients managed through a single centre.

"The new system brings benefits for patients, as it’s open 64 hours a week, compared to 37.5 hours previously. Patients can now book an appointment at a time that suits them via telephone or by email during the extended opening times of 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

"Once again, we would like to apologise for the inconvenience this technical hitch caused for some patients trying to make an appointment but we are pleased to confirm that everything is now operating as it should with our podiatry IT systems and telephone lines."