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Folkestone East Family Practice closes as patients urged to register with new GP

Hundreds of patients are still without a new GP after their surgery closed this week.

Health bosses have allocated a new doctor to every patient from the Folkestone East Family Practice, which shut on Tuesday, they have received allocation forms for.

The NHS is urging 1,300 people registered at the practice but yet to return their forms, to send them in as soon as possible as they are now without a GP.

Scroll down for patients' advice about registering for a new GP

Folkestone East Family Practice
Folkestone East Family Practice

Patients need to complete the form to ensure they are allocated a new GP elsewhere in the town by the South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG has said it cannot guarantee which practice patients will be offered. But some patients on the surgery's list have still not attempted to register with a new doctor.

It has been confirmed all 3,208 people who have filled in allocation forms for a new GP, have been offered a place at another surgery.

Once allocated, patients have to formally contact their new surgery to complete the registration.

Figures for actual completed registrations are not due to be available "for a while as these will trickle through as and when people go to register", a spokesman for the CCG said.

The practice will be closing
The practice will be closing

They added: "Some 3,208 patients had been allocated to or registered with a new GP practice.

"This leaves approximately 1,300 patients on the Folkestone East list who have not yet returned their allocation form.

"We expect some of these patients to no longer require registration with a new practice locally, for example people who have moved out of the area."

The 1,300 people who have not yet completed their allocation forms will be sent a reminder notice this week.

The NHS has asked patients to visit their allocated new GP surgery as soon as possible to complete their registration.

Surgeries can offer patients "immediate and necessary" care if they are not registered with a GP but only for a limited period of time. Full details to contact a GP are available on the NHS website.

Advice for patients affected by the Folkestone East Family Practice closure

Do I need to do anything?

In short, yes. Patients registered at Folkestone East need to return the allocation forms sent out by the CCG earlier in the summer. This is because registering with a GP is personal choice. If you wish to be registered to a new GP, you must complete the allocation forms.

Will I be automatically assigned a new GP if I do nothing?

No. You must hand back an allocation form to be assigned a new GP surgery. Patients can chose which surgery they want but there is no guarantee this will be the one you are assigned. If you do not select a preference, one will be chosen for you.

I don't have an allocation form, what do I do?

There have been reports of people not receiving an allocation form. They are available via the CCG website or call 0333 0142884 (option 6 - registrations) or email skcccg.primarycare@nhs.net

What do I do with my completed allocation form?

  • Post to: Folkestone Allocation, PCSE Enquiries, PO Box 350, Darlington, DL1 9QN

  • Send by email to:pcse.registrations-preston@nhs.net(please put ‘Folkestone Allocation’ in the subject field)

I haven't heard from the NHS about my new GP, what can I do?

You should receive a letter confirming your new GP within seven days and a second letter confirming the details of how to complete the registration with the practice itself.

If you haven't heard in a week, call the support centre on 0333 0142884 (option 6 - registrations) or email skcccg.primarycare@nhs.net

I have been told what my new GP surgery is, is that my registration complete?

No. This simply means you have been allocated a place at a specific surgery. Patients must contact their new surgery directly to ensure their registration is completed. If you do not you will not be registered. Details of how to do this should arrive on your second letter.

I need urgent medical care but haven't been registered with a new GP yet...

There are a couple of options. But the advice from the NHS is make sure you are registered as soon as possible.

  • Visit a pharmacy where you can get advice and medicine for various common conditions without the need to see a doctor. These include: sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache, cystitis and skin rashes
  • Call NHS 111 the dedicated non-emergency number where you talk to a health professional about your symptoms and direct you to the best care for you
  • A minor injury such as a cut, minor burns, stings and bites can be dealt with at the minor injury unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital between 8am and 8pm.
  • Unregistered patients can be seen temporarily as an "immediate and necessary patient". Contact your nearest GP via the NHS website.
  • In an emergency of life and death, dial 999 or visit accident and emergency.
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