According to NHS Digital data The New Surgery, Canterbury Road Folkestone has taken on more patients than any other Surgery in the Folkestone & Hythe District. In April 2017 they had 9,768 patients, as of mid March 2018, they have 10,835, an 11% increase in a year. They have four doctors for 10,835 patients.
In second place and taking silver is, Guildhall Surgery, Guildhall St, Folkestone, who took more than 874 new patients onto their books. That’s a 12.25% increase. And in bronze medal position comes Manor Road Surgery, Folkestone with an increase of 570 new patients onto their books. An 8% increase.
The one thing these Surgeries have in common is that all reside in Folkestone’s two most deprived wards. Folkestone East and Folkestone Central Wards. The Cllrs who were elected in May 2015 to these wards are:
Cllr Claire Jeffrey (Con)(pictured left), Cllr Frank McKenna (Ind), Cllr Carol Sacre (UKIP)
Folkestone Harvey Central,
Cllr David Monk(Con) (pictured left), Cllr Dick Pascoe (Con), Cllr Rodica Wheeler (Con)
Now most of the the Cllrs, except Cllr Dick Pascoe who doesn’t read the local newspapers as they’re “full of rubbish” must be acutely
aware that we have an ongoing GP Crisis, not just in Folkestone. As the chart demonstrates all bar two surgeries took on new patients. With more patients come longer waiting times to secure an appointment. With more patients come longer waiting times for prescriptions. With more patients, missed appointment become acutely more wasteful, patients have responsibilities too.
On the 1st February Cllr DICK Pascoe, as you read your news “online”, The Folkestone Herald brought us news about how “vulnerable” patients where “reclassified” (reducing the numbers) by the South Kent Coast CCG (SKC CCG) after Folkestone East Family Practice (FEFP) closed in Nov 2017. As the Chart shows, as of March 15th 2018 there remained 835 patients on FEFP’s book waiting to be transferred by SKC CCG. It will have taken six months or more to transfer 4775 patients to new surgeries across the district and beyond.
However, Dick, it wasn’t just one story about a Surgery closing down, oh no, Dick. The Surgery in your own Town of Hawkinge where you are a Town Cllr is also set to close according to the Folkestone Herald (1/2/18). How long will it take to transfer 2,732 patients at the Hawkinge Surgery. Where will they go? And will the SKC CCG give the patients the assurance that no “reclassifications” will occur again?
Now we can all bang the drum and shout hurray that the University of Kent & Christchurch University Canterbury will open up a medical school. But it will take a good number of years for it to start producing trained doctors. Also we applaud the £1.5 Million to provide a new building for a healthcare service in New Romney. Again this will take time to build, equip and hire staff to run the new practice. Yes, we know Oaklands surgery – Hythe is set to receive £352,152 from s106 money, for an extension of the Oaklands Surgery, but it’s still waiting for the money and it needs to expand sooner rather than later.
Another thing to remember is that locum’s via agencies can and in some cases do cost surgeries more than an GP’s salary pro rata.
Meanwhile, the situation grows ever more precarious, if not not downright dangerous. Less GP’s means more patients per GP’s, this is a recipe for disaster and and all the cries to the future, do nothing in the here and now. Waiting for a miracle to come, is not the answer, the people of Folkestone & Hythe District need to continue banging this drum about the ongoing GP Crisis, you need to push your Cllrs, The South Kent Coast CGG, our MP to do something NOW, not in years to come. After all the First Wealth is Health.
We’ll leave the final word to our MP Damian Collins.
The Shepwayvox Team