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More patients could potentially lose their practice in Folkestone

by Valeria Fiore
31 January 2018

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A GP practice in Folkestone has announced intentions to close one of its branches that fails to comply with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidelines and is no longer financially sustainable.

In a letter to patients, GP Principal and sole provider for The Surgery Dr Zaw Thike launched a proposal to close his branch in Hawkinge, Folkestone after recognising that the premises hinder the delivery of certain aspects of care and that not enough space is available for nurses to support GPs during working hours.

Patients will still be able to see a GP at The Surgery’s main site in in Lyminge, Folkestone, which is about 5 miles away from The Surgery’ site in Hawkinge.

If the proposal turns into reality, the Hawkinge surgery will be the second practice to close in Folkestone, after recruitment and funding problems caused the closure of Folkestone East Family practice three months ago.

NHS South Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that no other surgeries have closed in South Kent Coast since the closure of Folkestone East Family Practice on 31 October 2017.

Dr Thike said: ‘We understand that the closure of the Hawkinge branch site may make access to the practice more difficult for a number of patients. However, we believe that this change will strengthen the practice as a whole.’

The Surgery provides care for 2,732 patients across two sites.

NHS South Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that the practice had to give up on a new build in Hawkinge after it did not manage to reach an agreement with the developer.

A NHS South Kent CCG spokesperson said: ‘The practice also has a number of wider concerns about running a small village branch surgery in the longer term relating to patient safety, CQC (Care Quality Commission) compliance and financial viability.  

‘Subsequently, the surgery has applied to close their branch surgery and is currently undertaking a patient and stakeholder consultation exercise which they will report on as part of their final application to the CCG.’

Patients have until 9 February 2018 to share their views on the proposal.