Published: 00:00, 18 July 2014 |
Updated: 22:39, 18 July 2014
Patients at a medical practice have been left reeling after being told that the private firm running their surgery has suddenly pulled out.
The Broadway Medical Practice in Broadstairs was taken over by Concordia Health in 2011, but attracted a number of complaints resulting in a demonstration by patients, who paraded outside the surgery in 2012 waving placards.
Concordia Health has given NHS England six months’ notice of its intention to quit. The decision comes midway through its five-year contract to run the practice, which has 5,500 patients.
Thanet district councillor Ian Driver is a patient at the surgery, along with his family, and said that a letter was sent out on Wednesday, July 16, informing patients of the decision.
Cllr Driver said: “The surgery is staffed by locums and there is massive difficulty getting an appointment, with a wait of up to a week to be seen. There is no continuity of care because you see a different doctor each time and have to explain your symptoms again.”
Patients are being asked for their views but will have to wait to see if a new management can be found for the surgery, or the alternative is that they will be transferred to other practices. Cllr Driver said: “The idea that 5,500 patients can be picked up by other massively overstretched practices in Broadstairs is laughable.”
Concordia Health’s contract for the Broadway Practice will end in March 2015 and Cllr Driver is asking NHS England for an urgent public meeting to discuss the future for patients.
A spokesperson for NHS England (Kent & Medway) said:“We are committed to ensuring that all patients have ongoing access to good quality, local GP services.
“We are currently working through the options for the future of the practice.”
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