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Kent practice considers closing branch after failure to find new premises

by Valeria Fiore
13 April 2018

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A GP practice could close after failing to find new premises, as the current ones are not suitable for the provision of care.
Patients have been sent a letter today (13 April) in which the practice partners ask for their views on the closure of one of The Limes Medical Centre branches, Garlinge Branch Surgery in Margate, Kent.
The main surgery in Trinity Square, Margate will stay open and patients will not need to re-register with another practice.
The surgery branch could close as early as 17 May, as confirmed by a NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group spokesperson.
Reasons for closing
Some of the problems that influenced GP partners to propose the planning are:

  • The premises are not suitable for providing modern day healthcare 
  • The building is vulnerable to adverse weather 
  • Computer systems run very slowly with some not being available

The letter read: ‘It is therefore with regret that after a lot of discussion and consideration the practice is proposing to close the branch surgery.’
Potential impact
After failing to find new suitable premises, the partners announced what they thought could ‘not be a popular decision with some patients’.
The practice provides care to approximately 15,800 across its two sites.
Patients will have time to share their view on the proposals until 27th April, and their answers will be shared with the CCG to be taken into account.
The partners felt that closing the branch could ‘strengthen the practice as a whole’ and allow them to ‘offer a wider range of services to all of our patients and a more consistent level of service’.
Closing the Garlinge branch surgery not only will allow GPs ‘to provide a consistent quality of service to all patients’ and optimise their time, but will also provide patients with better access to the nurses and health care assistants, the partners said.
A NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that we have received an application from The Limes Medical Centre to close the Garlinge branch surgery.
‘The practice is currently consulting with patients and is asking patients to complete a survey expressing their views and concerns. The practice has also organised two patient drop-in sessions for patients to express their views and concerns.’