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Manor Clinic and Park Farm surgeries in Folkestone could merge

Two surgeries in Folkestone which serve more than 10,000 patients combined could merge for 'added resilience' if given the green light by NHS bosses.

The Manor Clinic on Manor Road recently posted a notice in their practice to inform their 7861 registered patients of the plans to amalgamate services with Park Farm Surgery on Alder Road.

It read: "The merger fits very well with NHS strategy which emphasises the need for practices to work more closely together.

Manor Clinic, Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps (5768159)
Manor Clinic, Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps (5768159)

"The Manor Clinic patients will remain registered here with their usual doctor. We expect this merger to take place in the next few months."

Bill Millar, director of primary care for the east Kent clinical commissioning groups (CCG), said: "Park Farm and Manor Clinic have approached South Kent Coast CCG to let us know they are interested in merging both GP practices.

"This would mean services continuing on both sites, and Park Farm, which has just one GP, becoming part of a larger GP practice with the added resilience that would bring for the future.

"Both practices will be engaging with patients to find out their views.

"The CCGs’ Primary Care Commissioning Co-Committee will take a decision on this in due course.

"In the meantime, services continue at Park Farm as usual and, in addition, Manor Clinic is providing some nurse appointments for Park Farm patients."

Park Farm Surgery has come under fire in recent months after it was rated 'inadequate' for a second time.

In February, Dr Abhijit Neil Banik's surgery was put in special measures amid safety and hygiene concerns by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.

In July, inspectors discovered he failed to abide by warning notices that ordered him to improve safety and administration standards.

Chief inspector professor Steve Fields' report said: "The service will be kept under review and if needed could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.

"Another inspection will be conducted within six months, and if there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service."

Park Farm surgery, Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps
Park Farm surgery, Folkestone. Credit: Google Maps

It currently serves 3127 registered patients.

Manor Clinic is rated 'requires improvement', and was told in the summer make a series of improvements, including ensuring safe care and treatment and establish effective systems for governance.

Mr Millar added that other services are available around the town if issues can be dealt with elsewhere: "For many common illnesses and issues, such as chest infection or back pain, the GP practices can also make appointments for patients with the GPs, nurses and physiotherapists at Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone hub, and other similar hubs in the area.

"Receptionists offer these appointments to patients if their problem is one the hubs can help with."

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