Patients of a city GP surgery have said website woes and staff sickness have left them struggling to access its services - some for months on end.

Since August, a message was displayed on the website of Oak Street Medical Practice in Norwich stating the practice site was closed - but would reopen at 8.30am the following day.

But the message, which has now been updated, did not change until this newspaper approached local NHS bosses.

The message explained that due to struggles with staff sickness, the online booking system could not be made available.

Patients registered at the surgery say that the issues combined have made it increasingly difficult for them to get in with their GP.

Green Party councillor Jamie Osborn said: "It is very concerning that many people have been unable to get GP appointments at Oak Street, in some cases for months.

"I have spoken to patients who said they were unable to get help for more than eight weeks before being referred to hospital, putting their health at risk.

"Others were almost left without vital prescriptions because of being unable to speak to their GP - there needs to be improvements at Oak Street before any more patients are placed at risk."

The most recent figures available have shown the surgery saw 5,565 patients in November, a drop of around 1,000 in October.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk and Waveney integrated care board said: "The ICB is aware that Oak Street has been experiencing a high level of staff illness over the past few months and has been supporting the practice through this period.

"Oak Street is open and continues to provide a range of general practice services. 

"Patients do have the option of contacting the practice via the website, however depending on the level of patient demand and staff availability the amount of time that the webform is available currently varies.

"The practice recognises the need for patients to be able to make contact via telephone, in person and online and has updated its website to reflect current opening hours."