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Doctor to 'look for a new job' following closure of GP surgeries in Greenhithe, Bean, Darenth and Bexley

A doctor has announced he will leave his post at a suspended surgery following a bout of serious ill-health.

Dr Bhaskar Bora is the managing partner of the Elmdene Surgery in London Road, Greenhithe, which provides services to 9,000 patients.

The Elmdene Surgery has suspended its services following an investigation from the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Google (23324115)
The Elmdene Surgery has suspended its services following an investigation from the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Google (23324115)

The practice was suspended last week along with its branches in Bean, Darenth and Bexley.

It follows action from the regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC) after concerns were raised about the standards of care provided.

Dr Bora, 44, apologised to patients following the closures.

The former chairman of the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) explained he had been off work following a period of serious ill-health.

He said: “I apologise to patients for any inconvenience this closure may cause.

Dr Bhaskar Bora is the registered premises manager. (23324169)
Dr Bhaskar Bora is the registered premises manager. (23324169)

“I have been off sick since July 17 following complications from surgery which left me paralysed from the waist down. I am still recovering and unable to work full-time."

Now the doctor has revealed he will leave the surgery after 10 years.

He explained the practices were currently under the supervision of the CCG and will be taken over by another provider shortly.

"With my current health status and whatever, my time in Kent seems to be up," he said.

"My dedicated staff will do their best to look after you.

"You have seen me grow grey hairs in this place. I wish you all the best."

Patients can book appintments for other surgeries at the Bennett Wa Surgery. Photo: Google (23536715)
Patients can book appintments for other surgeries at the Bennett Wa Surgery. Photo: Google (23536715)

The doctor also explained he had been trying to acquire new premises but these attempts had proved unsuccessful.

He said he would "look for a new job, once better".

Since 2016, the number of patients registered at the surgeries has increased by 50% from 6,000 to 9,100.

The other practices affected are Bennett Way Surgery in Darenth, New Surgery in Beacon Drive, Bean, and Joydens Wood Medical Centre in Summerhouse Drive, Bexley, which are part of the same group.

Elmdene had been placed under special measures last year after inspectors discovered medicine was being stored incorrectly.

A report published by the CQC explained a member of staff alerted assessors of the dispensing error as there wasn't any record of it happening and it had not been raised as a "significant event" by the surgery.

Alternative arrangements are being made for patients to receive GP services elsewhere locally.

Those registered at the surgeries can attend appointments at the Elmdene Surgery and at Bennett Way with GPs who are employed by neighbouring practices.

Joydens Wood Medical Centre has also offered to book appointments for people to attend at Cedars Surgery, Swanley.

Those residents who need to see a GP or nurse outside of the normal opening hours for minor illnesses can attend the Whitehorse Walk-in Centre in Vale Road, Northfleet, or the minor injuries unit in Bath Street, Gravesend.

Chief nurse at Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG, Paula Wilkins, told patients they were entitled to register with another practice but said "there is no need to do so".

She said: "We are in discussions with neighbouring practices to provide services to these patients on a more sustainable basis and will confirm these arrangements as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, clinical services are being provided by other local clinicians for all registered patients."

The chief nurse acknowledged alternative providers – including the recent merger at Springhead Health on the Fleet Health Campus in Northfleet where patients have been redirected – were also "under pressure".

"We have put increased capacity into the Improved Access hubs to try and address this," she said.

“If you need a GP appointment, repeat prescriptions, or test results, please telephone your practice as usual. If you need to see a GP or practice nurse, staff will be able to book you an appointment either at your usual surgery or at another local surgery."

Patients requiring urgent medical help or advice which is not life-threatening can call NHS 111 by dialling 111.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

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