10 SEP 2018

Crunch talks over Eastry Surgery

I have urged health chiefs to step up efforts to attract more doctors to East Kent, calling for an inquiry into GP recruitment issues – following crunch talks over the future of Eastry Surgery. Imet with doctors, health chiefs and councillors on Thursday to discuss the practice's proposals to move all appointments to The Market Place Surgery in Sandwich.

I had previously written to the Eastry GPs highlighting villagers' worries over parking in Sandwich and public transport. The doctors told me they were meeting with Dover District Council to discuss tackling the concerns over parking. They also said that a nurse practitioner could potentially work out of the pharmacy in Eastry.

Meanwhile Cllr Sue Chandler told the meeting she is looking into how concerns over transport could be addressed with the help of local transport schemes and community bus services. The GPs said that Eastry Surgery had to close due to difficulties attracting more doctors. I have now asked Cllr Chandler, who chair Kent County Council's Health Overview Scrutiny Committee, to launch an inquiry into GP recruitment issues in South Kent.

We need to attract more GPs to our corner of Kent. That's why I fought so hard to help secure the new medical school, where more doctors and nurses will train and work locally. Yet we also need to tackle this issue right now. Local health chiefs must step up efforts to boost the number of GPs in Dover, Deal and the villages.

1 comment

Hopefully Clr Sue Chandler will arrange for any new transport scheme to accept bus passes, otherwise it will be unaffordable. The closure of Eastry surgery has come at a time when there have been cuts to bus services in the villages. To get to Sandwich from Eythorne will now take over two hours by bus, travelling via Canterbury. At what point were patients going to be told about the closure? I have been registered at Eastry surgery for 36 years, but only heard about this by word of mouth. How is it going to be possible to get an appointment at Sandwich if all the patients from Eastry are added to the list?
- Eythorne Resident

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Charlie Elphicke

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