FORMER bin man Luke Pennington was terrified he might lose his leg to a deep vein thrombosis because he was unable to get an appointment to see a doctor for the five weeks.

The 26-year-old, who has had to stop work because of the painful condition, said he was told when he called 111 last week that he needed an urgent appointment because of the seriousness of the condition.

But when he called the Carfax Medical Centre where he is a patient, he was told the earliest he could see a GP was October 19.

“As far as I’m concerned I’m at risk of losing my leg. I’ve got mental health problems, which they are fully aware of and all this is bringing it on,” he said.

But yesterday he was offered an earlier appointment after the Advertiser contacted the surgery.

Luke said he first went to the doctor a couple of months ago when varicose veins suddenly appeared.

“They came out of nowhere,” he said.

Luke was given medication but the condition worsened then he was diagnosed with phlebitis followed by the DVT.

“I’ve been to hospital several times. They say 'see the GP'. I called 111 in tears because I couldn’t cope with it,” he said. “I can’t feel my leg sometimes.”

The young man, who lives in central Swindon, said he is unable to walk very far and has had to buy a walking stick to help him get about.

The situation has deteriorated so much that he has to keep lying down and raising his leg when he sits down for too long.

“I’ve been told by 111 that it is urgent and I have to be seen," he said.

"I was told I have to be referred to a vascular surgeon as a matter of urgency, which only a GP can do.”

But in spite of calling the surgery several times he said he has been unable to get an earlier appointment.

“You try and get urgent appointments but you can’t,” he said.

“I feel I have got no choice. If I change doctors I would have to explain it all again to a new place.”

A spokesman for Carfax Medical Practice said: “We acknowledge Mr Pennington’s concerns that a routine appointment was not offered until the 19 October 2017 and have subsequently offered him an earlier appointment at a time that he is able to attend.

“Our priority is ensuring that all of our patients receive the appropriate care when they need it.”

According to the website, if left untreated one-in-10 people with a DVT will develop a pulmonary embolism, which can cause a sudden collapse.

It says: “Both DVT and pulmonary embolism require urgent investigation and treatment.”

And it advises people to seek immediate medical attention if they develop pain, swelling and tenderness in their leg, breathlessness and chest pain.