Medway committee postpones decision on merging practices

As reported by Kent Online, the decision regarding whether to merge five GP surgeries into three has been postponed, following a local patient protest

Kent’s Medway Primary Care Commissioning Committee has delayed making a decision on whether it will merge five practices into three.

The group, which is responsible for planning and buying GP care services in the area, originally said that a decision would be reached earlier this week.

However, it has now stated that it needs to consult further with patients regarding the closure of the Sunlight Surgery and DMC Branch Clinic, following a protest which took place outside of the Medway office on Wednesday.

Stuart Jeffery, chief operating officer at Medway CCG explained:

“The closure of GP surgeries at the Sunlight Centre and DMC Twydall Branch Surgery was proposed in line with the Medway Model.

“The Medway Model seeks to offer a greater range of quality services away from the hospital environment, closer to people’s homes, supporting GPs to work at scale alongside other health and care professionals.

“The proposal to reduce the number of sites will ensure a more resilient service in the future.

“However, it has become clear that further engagement with patients is required before a decision on reducing the number of sites is made and we have, therefore, postponed this decision to allow for more engagement with patients and stakeholders.

“To ensure that there is no gap in the provision of GP services to patients, we will continue to re-procure GP services across all of the five existing sites.

“We will continue our engagement with the public and stakeholders over a longer period, to ensure that we get the widest range of views before deciding on the final number of sites.”

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