After the retirement of one of its doctors, Dr Stephen Meech, and the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Mote Practice took the decision to "temporarily" close the surgery in Boughton Lane from March 23.
Patients were able to continue to seek GP appointments at The Mote's main surgery in St Saviour's Road, near the Morrisons store, but the distance was impracticable for many elderly patients.
The local community became increasingly anxious, when the surgery also stopped allowing patients to post repeat prescriptions at the Boughton Lane practice.
It has now emerged that the Mote Medical Practice has decided not to re-open the Boughton Lane centre.
However, a white knight has ridden to the rescue of the 3,000 or so patients who used to attend the Loose Medical Centre in the form of Coxheath-based Greensands Healthcare.
Greensands is in negotiation with The Mote to purchase the Loose centre to run as a branch service of its own, supporting its main surgery in Stockett Lane.
There is already some overlap between the catchment area of the two services, but it is expected that those patients who prefer to receive treatment at Loose are likely to be able to continue to do so, but with doctors supplied by Greensands.
Those patents who for prefer to stay with The Mote will be able to, attending the surgery in St Saviour's Road.
The Mote is currently inviting its patients to complete an online survey, in which it asks which location is most convenient for them. The survey closes on August 28.
However, Mote patients will have to write in officially requesting a transfer to the Greensands patient list if they wish to do so.
It is understood that Greensands has already recruited two doctors, an advanced nursing practitioner and a nurse along with front office staff for the Loose Road centre.
Greensands intends to increase the hours of opening at the Loose Medical Centre and to provide additional services such as an in-house physiotherapist, prescribing clinical pharmacists and paramedic services.
Cllr Brian Clark (Lib Dem) represents the area and has been heavily involved in running a community help scheme to assist patients to get their prescriptions filled during the Covid lock-down.
He said: "Throughout lock-down I have been lobbying Mote Medical to provide support to vulnerable residents at the Boughton Parade centre which had been temporarily closed.
"This closure caused our North Loose Community volunteer service considerable challenges in supporting vulnerable local residents during lock-down, especially as patient services had transferred to the main Mote surgery, some considerable distance away near Morrisons (where phone prescription renewals were unavailable at the height of lock-down).
"While the practice transfer may cause some anxiety for residents during the transition process, I am delighted, and somewhat relieved that Greensands Health has come forward to purchase the building for continued use as a local surgery."
The two surgeries subsequently issued a joint statement saying: "The Mote Medical Practice and Greensand Health Centre are currently in negotiations regarding the proposed transfer of ownership of the Boughton Parade Surgery building on Loose Road.
"If the project is successful, patients using the surgery will be able to choose between remaining with The Mote Medical Practice (attending its St Saviour’s site near Morrisons), or transferring to Greensand Health Centre and continuing to visit the Loose Road site (or one of Greensand’s other sites).
"As with most branch practices, the Loose Road branch was closed in April in response to the Covid-19 crisis, which coincided with Dr Meech’s retirement in March. Greensand Health Centre are recruiting staff and are planning for the potential increase in patients, and will keep patients informed as to when the branch surgery will reopen, should the transfer of ownership of the building be agreed."
Correction: This article reported that Mote Medical Centre had “stopped allowing patients to post repeat
prescriptions at the Boughton Lane practice or allowing telephone renewals” and that “the surgery
planned to re-open in October”. We would like to make clear that the Mote Medical Centre had never
allowed telephone renewals, and that the surgery was not planned to open in October at the time of
publication. This has been published following an upheld ruling by the Independent Press Standards
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