Home   Herne Bay   News   Article

Park and Herne and Broomfield Surgery problems blamed on IT crash, not Coach House merger

By Jack Dyson

A power cut which crashed computer systems is being blamed for chaotic scenes following the merger of a doctors’ surgery with two others.

The Coach House practice in Canterbury Road closed on January 2, with its 5,000 patients absorbed by Park Surgery in King’s Road and Herne and Broomfield Surgery in Broomfield Road.

But patients have complained of waits of more than an hour over the phone to book an appointment, others being cut off completely, queues for prescriptions starting outside the door and delayed appointments.

The Park Surgery in Herne Bay
The Park Surgery in Herne Bay

It led to the merger being branded a “disaster” and “chaotic” with the two sites now looking after a combined 22,000 patients.

But GPs have urged calm, saying the problems are not down to the merger but a major technical glitch caused by a power cut on January 3 – just 24 hours into the new set-up.

Dr Jeremy Carter, executive partner at the combined surgeries, said: “A lot of people are mixing two issues. That power cut took out the whole of the IT system and telephone lines at the Broomfield surgery.

“That wasn’t up and running until Monday and would have created problems regardless of the merger.”

The issue forced the staff at the Park Surgery to manage the computers for both sites.

The difficulties were exacerbated by delays in constructing additional consultation rooms, parking and office spaces at both of the surgeries. That work is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Dr Carter said: “The merger has gone as well as we would have liked given the constraints that we’ve had.

“Because we’ve had building work there are fewer parking spaces, but it’s not going to be like that for too much longer.”

Four more GPs have been hired across the two sites.

Dr Titilade Oyewole-Eletu and members of the Coach House reception staff also moved over.

“We’re relatively over-staffed now,” Dr Carter added. “We’ve got the same number of staff as pre-merger because everyone from Coach House has come across, so the service patients would have had there has carried on.”

The merger was forced by the retirement of two GPs at Coach House, leaving just Dr Oyewole-Eletu and 5,000 patients.

Natalie Boyton, a member of the Park’s patient representative group, urged people not to panic.

“Obviously with a merger of this scale there are going to be teething problems, but the surgeries are absolutely fantastic and so well run,” she said.

“Those coming across from Coach House can be reassured that they will receiving the best care possible from the most incredible doctors.”

The issues come at a time when the surgeries have been tackling a backlog of prescriptions and appointments from the festive period and amid concerns over H3N2, otherwise known as Aussie flu.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More