Birchington Medical Centre

Telephone: 01843 848818
Address: Minnis Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9HQ
Website: Website address not added

1.5 out of 5 stars

Based on 53 ratings for this GP surgery

1.5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 53 ratings for this GP surgery

Telephone access

2 out of 5 stars

(56 ratings)

Appointments

2 out of 5 stars

(56 ratings)

Dignity and respect

2.5 out of 5 stars

(55 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

2.5 out of 5 stars

(50 ratings)

Providing accurate information

3 out of 5 stars

(51 ratings)

Reviews

77 total

Kelly Crees gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

The receptionists

Very upset I'm even registered at this doctors, many occasions have sat in the waiting room and over heard personal information being talked about by the receptionists, very rude in the phone and everything is so much hard work for them also they treat elderly people with no respect, I've been waiting for an important scan date to come through and have been chasing the surgery for weeks and keep being told just to wait another week then they will chase it for me, today when I rang they told me to chase it myself and gave me the number I rang up only to find out my referral had never been sent, I just hope it doesn't turn out to be anything sinister as I have now been waiting far to long and this is appalling, I never even got a phone call explaining what had happened the white cliff surgery phoned back and had to explain, very bad patient service

Visited in March 2015. Posted on 20 April 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 24 April 2015

Sorry for the delayed response but I have been away and am catching up. I am very concerned about these issues. Please drop me a line at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net so that I can investigate further and then provide a fuller response directly to you.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

impossible to book an appointment

Currently I am on day ten of what I now realise is a chest infection not just a cold. Day three in bed and day three of trying to get an appointment. No way of getting through from 8am for appointments for that day, constantly engaged or cut off after one ring. When you finally get through later you're told, by rude staff, to try again in the morning. I don't see how I'll ever get to see a dr but maybe that's the point. If you have any choice do not register here!

Visited in February 2015. Posted on 12 February 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 24 February 2015

Apologies for the delayed response but I was away and then also ill with a chest infection, though not for ten days.
I realise the telephones are still a problem and we have taken on more staff to try and make up for the inadequate system, but clearly it hasn't helped you. I can assure you that it is not the point that we don't want you to see the doctor, it is more the case that so many people want to see one. If you let contact me on the email; birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will be happy to take further details and identify who has been rude - whatever the demands, rudeness is not acceptable. Also I will be happy to register you for online booking of appointments so that you can choose appointments that suit you.
In the meantime, please accept my apologies for the inadequate service you have received thus far. If I can help in any way, please contact me at the surgery or by the email.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Paul Ruffle gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 2 stars

I'm still waiting to speak to the Practice Management.

I asked for an appointment with the Practice Management on the 20th February 2015, at the reception desk. I wasn't happy at the possibility of waiting 3 weeks to see either a nurse or a doctor when I had chronic earache. There were also some personal issues that I wanted to discuss with the Practice Management.

The receptionist took my details and said the Practice Management would call me, which has never happened. I've waited quite patiently but it has become clear I've been fobbed off. I don't believe for one moment the message was passed on. This needs to be investigated.

I was also told by the same receptionist that three of the regular doctors were on holiday, yet watching the board it was clear that at least two of them were working.

I wasn't one of those patients that pressed for this practice to be taken into special measures. It is likely that during that time I was too ill to participate, although I would have done if I could.

I'm quite happy with the current nurses and doctors since the surgery has been revamped. I still find the receptionists are either very helpful or very unhelpful, and it's a matter of luck who you speak to.

Fortunately I did speak to one of your helpful receptionists the next day and my ear problem was sorted out.

I'm quite happy to identify this particular receptionist if I see them as I believe they should be reprimanded.

Visited in February 2015. Posted on 13 March 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 16 March 2015

I'm sorry about the lack of contact, if you could drop me a line on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net with your details I will be very happy to meet and discuss when you are available.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous reviewed Birchington Medical Centre

Practice Feedback

Awful service, terrible admin staff, never answer the phone - figure on three weeks before you get an appointment.

Doctors are fine, though the turnover is inevitably high, but given an option, you'd be better off accepting your fate than expecting Birchington to sort the problem.

Visited in December 2014. Posted on 02 April 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 07 April 2015

Hi there

I am very sorry to hear that you are having such troubles with our practice and our phone lines. We do have a set number of staff answering phones each day however as it was the day before easter holidays, as you can imagine the phone lines would of been very busy.

I am not sure if you are aware but we do offer online registration for online services such as booking appointments online and requesting your repeat prescriptions etc. If you would like to discuss this further or request an online registration form please email me on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net.

Kind Regards
Lucy
Asst PM

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UNHAPPY PATIENT gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Cancelled and "moved" appointments

I booked a blood test, health check and appointment to see a doctor two weeks ago all to be on the same day, booked the day off work (un paid). Got a phone call the afternoon before the day to say the blood test had been cancelled. No one else able to do this procedure in a big doctors surgery a little worrying!!!
Then I turned up for my appointments to find my health check appointment had been changed without being told to the next day. So I was left with one appointment.

After waiting an hour after my appointment time and hearing the office staff joking that I was still waiting I walked out without seeing my doctor.
I could not go to the health check the next day. Can't afford to keep taking days off work while birchington surgery continue to mess people around. Some one is going to get seriously ill or worse if this sort of standard of care continues.

Visited in December 2014. Posted on 02 December 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 12 December 2014

I do understand the issue about taking time off for doctor appointments so can sympathise with your frustration here. Unfortunately the blood test had to be rearranged due to staff sickness. I'm sure you would not want to catch something from staff when they are taking your blood, and we did manage to place some appointments with other nurses but could not do them all.
I am alarmed that you heard staff joking about patients waiting and if you contact me on email I will look in to this straight away. I can also explain how we have changed the appointment system and how you can have more choice with doctor's appointments.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager
birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

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Gerry gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 5 stars

Improvemenys

It has improved tremendously but still hard to get through on the phone.
I was a little disturbed to be told that diabetic consultation is now 12months though the blood tests are six months.
Overall I am quite happy with my care and my wife received tremendous support from the nurses.The receptionists are courteous and helpful.

Visited in December 2014. Posted on 21 January 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 February 2015

Thank you for the encouragement, we realise that we are not there yet but will keep trying to improve. The diabetic review is scheduled for 12 months for those who seem to be managing the condition - and the six month blood test is to make sure things are going okay. It goes without saying that if there is anything untoward with the blood test, you will be called in for an earlier review. We were finding that some patients were coming in for a 6 month review and it was not necessary at all. However, if you do get worried or have issues, do get in touch. We are in the process of training more nurses to do the diabetic reviews as well.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

what chance of making appointments

the website gives no information.you can never get through on the phone it seems to be pot luck.after engage signal it cuts you off. it seems as if it all needs a complete change

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 26 January 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 February 2015

Thanks for your comments, I will address both if I can. What further information would you like to see on the website - any suggestions are gratefully received and I will try and incorporate them if able. Some things are mandatory but there is still leeway to add specific information if it would be helpful.
As mentioned before, we are stuck with the phone system we have as it is prohibitively expensive to change at this time, but we have increased the staff to try and manage the phone answering. This has improved somewhat but clearly we have not yet fixed it. Can I suggest you contact me at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net and I will register you for online services - you can then book appointments and repeat prescriptions without using the phone?
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Absolutely Pathetic! Where Is The Communication?

My mum received an urgent letter to go down to the surgery for 4.10 today, she didn't know what it was for so I walked down with her as she struggles. We get there. she goes in then comes out after 5 mins to say the doctor had no clue of the appointment!! all it was about was some results she already knew about from the London hospital she goes to, where is the communication? why do you guys not just talk to each other?. The receptionists are useless as well! and looking at the low ratings on here it seems it hasn't changed. I really dont want to have to have write this but you need to know that you have to improve! its a shame there isn't another surgery in Birchington as we would have gone from here years ago. Please take this opportunity to do something before you lose all your patients.

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 05 November 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 06 November 2014

I'm sorry about this, if you contact me on the email below I will look into what has happened. Is your comment about the receptionists connected to the letter issue as well? If the letter is inappropriate I need to find out who sent it and follow that up.
This has highlighted a further issue of communication between patient and Dr, especially about follow up appointments, test results, etc and we are going to change this system starting next month. In fact if I get the details I will use this example for the team to learn from.
Your title is absolutely correct, where is the communication and I am confident that we will improve in this area.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager
birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 2 stars

Phone calls

l am very pleased how quickly my phone was answered the last three times l phoned

Visited in November 2014. Posted on 16 April 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 17 April 2015

Good afternoon.

We have received your comment and would like to thank you for your views.

Regards

BMC

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Stuart gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 4 stars

Improvements

The Medical Centre has gone through a very remarkable series of changes since the report by NHS England. The appointments system has improved and reception staff are a lot more patient friendly and no doubt under the current practice management this surgery will continue to improve. It is noticeable that we have several new reception staff who have undergone "in house" training which is all for the benefit of patients. the use of more nursing staff including nurse prescribers has improved the service and relieved the doctors of some of the work. There is no doubt that the telephone system still requires considerable improvement although I understand there is a contractual problem which is not easily and quickly solved.
By and large I believe that under the new Practice Manager and the new staff working alongside our existing staff we will continue to see further improvements.

Visited in October 2014. Posted on 26 November 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 December 2014

Thank you for noticing the changes we have brought in. We are still working on the phone system and have recruited more staff to try and overcome the deficiencies with telephones. I shall pass on this message to the staff and I am sure that this will encourage them to continue on the improvement road.

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