Birchington Medical Centre

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

1.5 out of 5 stars

Based on 54 ratings for this GP surgery

1.5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 54 ratings for this GP surgery

Telephone access

2 out of 5 stars

(57 ratings)

Appointments

2 out of 5 stars

(59 ratings)

Dignity and respect

3 out of 5 stars

(58 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

2.5 out of 5 stars

(52 ratings)

Providing accurate information

3 out of 5 stars

(54 ratings)

Reviews

104 total

Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Unacceptable service

I'm not going to bore you with my medical problems but when asked by Dr the same questions twice within minutes on several occasions, it does make you wonder! Then to be told to make an appointment at reception, who informed me they haven't got anything. One Dr is outstanding but the rest! Atrocious!
Words actually fail me. This surgery must be answerable to someone! I'd hoped with the survey and recent changes they had turned a corner, well they have, straight into a dead end.
Dreadful.

Visited in January 2016. Posted on 06 January 2016

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 08 January 2016

Good Morning

I am sorry that you feel the service was unacceptable to you, we are also sorry that you feel you could not contact the surgery directly. Could we ask that you email us at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net with your concerns and contact information as the Practice Manager, Hannah Price, would like to discuss these with you.

Kind Regards

Birchington Medical Centre

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as above reviewed Birchington Medical Centre

Never seems to be any sense or urgency from the front desk

I have been in birchington 4 yrs and have used the local practice sparingly .. A lovely building only let down by the Inability of the practice to hold on to staff In 4 years I have never seen the same doctor more than once .. this would suggest poor leadership from the management..If you cant keep your staff there must be some underlying reason... after Inquiring about getting a copy of my medical history I was Informed that would cost me £55 No free-dom of Information there ..
On and a half Stars would sugest there is a lot of room for Improvement at birchington medical centre .

Visited in January 2016. Posted on 22 January 2016

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 25 January 2016

Good morning

Thank you for your comments; however it is a shame that you did not contact the surgery directly to discuss any issues or concerns you may have. We would have been more than happy to discuss these items with you.

Patients that register with Birchington Medical Centre are registered with the practice as opposed to registering with a GP; therefore enabling patients to see any GP they wish to see. We also have a number of regular Locums who kindly provide extra clinics for us.

In the last couple of years, 3 of our GPs have recently retired from General Practice and this has left a gap. We are actively trying to recruit additional clinicians, which is not an easy task, as i am sure you are aware from the many news articles, this is a national problem. However, we would like to assure you it is the highest priority for the practice.

The surgery offers a number of services to patients who wish to access to their medical records. Any patient who wishes to come and view their medical records is more than welcome to arrange an appointment time to come and view them (digital and lloyd george folder). When patients request copies and print outs, we do, unfortunately have to charge a fee. The most charged for this service is £50 and this is for all records (digital and lloyd george folder) to be scanned onto a CD/DVD disc for the patient to take away with them. You are also able to have summaries of medical records highlighting key information in the records, or specific information that a patient is requesting, this is of course charged at a much lower rate. I am not sure if any of this was explained to you but this practice holds freedom of information very highly. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to email the surgery on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net.

Kind Regards

Birchington Medical Centre.

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Edward gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Unable to get an appointment

I have been attempting to get an appointment with my doctor since the middle of December. I was told my doctor was booked till Christmas, and away for two weeks after, and there were no appointments for that time. I was asked to phone back after Christmas, which I did, and was told the appointments weren't on the system yet, and to try again in early January. Which I did, and appointments were still not on the system. I was told to phone early this week, which I have just done, on Tuesday, 19 January, only to be told again that there are no appointments available. How do I get an appointment with my doctor?

Visited in December 2015. Posted on 19 January 2016

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 25 January 2016

Good morning

Thank you for your comments. We are sorry that your care has not been met on this occassion and we are also sorry that you felt you could not approach the practice to discuss this issue directly. We are more than happy to call or meet with patients who experience any issues. If you would like to email the surgery on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net with your details and we can look into this further for you.

Kind Regards

Birchington Medical Centre.

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Anita gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 3 stars

Excellent staff

This surgery is extremely busy, but the reception staff are friendly and super-efficient under pressure. I would like it to be easier to get appointments, but they seem to be organizing their time as best they can. The doctor I saw today was kind and helpful. I am surprised to read they are taking new patients when they always seem so busy. However, to conclude, quite a wait for an appointment but worth it when you do get one - a professional team.

Additional mentions: Specially impressed with staff on the telephone. Also new screens calling you for appointments are good. The premises are clean and comfortable. I would like them to have a walk-in and wait surgery once or twice a week, as my relatives' surgeries have in Whitstable and Broadstairs.

Visited in December 2015. Posted on 01 December 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 December 2015

Good Morning

Thank you very much for your kind and supportive words. It really is important to us to have patient feedback, regardless of whether it is good or bad.
It means a lot to the staff for you to take time out of your day to give thanks for their efforts and for the services we provide. As always, we will strive to provide the satisfactory service the residents of Birchington rightly deserve.

Kind Regards

Birchington Medical Centre

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Waiting an hour

I have been sitting waiting for my appointment an hour now and still not seen. I had to go and ask what was going on and got told then. It doesn't help that the waiting room is really cold as well and it has just made me feel more unwell.

Visited in December 2015. Posted on 22 December 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 23 December 2015

Good Morning

We are sorry to hear of your experience here at the surgery. Unfortunately, due to the nature of General Practice there can be delays in appointment times; however I have reminded the reception team to keep patients updated when there are delays like this.

We will also be checking the central heating system to ensure it is running correctly as currently we are not aware of any problems.

Once again we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Regards

Birchington Medical Centre

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Clinton gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Health Check

After two letters from Birchington medical centre suggesting I have a health check; I thought why not. I booked an appointment, went and sat there for twenty five minutes and my name was finally called to be told it was cancelled. Therefore I rebooked and the exact same happened again. They were sorry but not sorry enough to tell me when I checked in. I have been with the surgery for twenty eight years and felt slightly sorry for them. Not now, they're unbelievably useless. I can't keep having time off work, maybe I should get a job at the medical centre.

Visited in November 2015. Posted on 03 November 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 16 November 2015

We are very sorry to hear of the problems you have experienced. After looking into this for you we found that the clinicians running those clinics were taken ill rather suddenly. We do our best to notify our patients when circumstances change and this can prove difficult at times, especially when due to sudden onset; however due to your experience we will look into our procedure for last minute cancellations and see if there is a way we can improve this. Once again we would like to apologise for the inconvenience that has been caused to you.

Regards

Birchington Medical Centre

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 3 stars

My Experience

I know and believe this surgery often gets a bad press but I think if you delve deeper you will see that the Doctors are doing their best to give quality healthcare (or at least that has been my experience today).
The main issue with this practice, I think ,revolves around the appointment and communication system which does need to still find a happy medium. but you have to set this against a surrounding population of predominately retired people who are more likely to require regular attention.
Certainly my experiences with both resident healthcare workers and the Doctors has been very positive and I think a holistic view of the Practice is required to fully judge its effectiveness.

Visited in November 2015. Posted on 16 November 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 December 2015

Good Morning

Firstly let us apologise for the delay in responding to your comment and secondly, say thank you very much for your kind words. All the staff find them very supportive and are grateful that you have taken time out of your day to provide us with your positive feedback.

It is important to the practice to receive feedback as we are constantly assessing our services and looking for improvements. Our aim has always been, and always will be, to provide a high level standard of care to the residents of Birchington.

Thank you once again
Birchington Medical Centre

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

No one answers the phone

I have tried calling at varying times and it makes no difference. I am always put on hold and currently am on hold as I write this at 3.47pm. Its now been 15 minutes!
I got told off at A and E last week for not going through the GP for my sick child, here I am again, what are they doing that means they can never answer the phone? Its not a rush hour thing, its all the time and I am at work!

Visited in November 2015. Posted on 16 November 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 December 2015

Good morning

We believe you also emailed the practice regarding this issue in particular and that a response was sent; however if this was not received could we ask that you contact us on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

Kind Regards

Birchington Medical Centre.

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Jean F gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Need to see Doctor

Waited 3 weeks for an appointment got to see a Doctor (not mine) given antibiotics and sent for a chest ex ray. Phoned today to get results which are clear but I stated I still had the pain near my right lung and I still have my cough now in its 7th week told if I want to see the same Doctor it will be January!! But if I go to the surgery I will be given the instructions to get an internet appointment with the Doctor who saw me. This I find worrying as Birchington Surgery has many older people without computer knowledge so this must leave them at the mercy of the telephone and I can tell you they hardly ever answer the phone. In fact the last time I needed a Doctor and couldn't get through on the phone I went to the surgery and was told by reception they are not answering the phone as its manic today as they have people off sick. I am not aware of how many full-time Doctors the place has now as all but two of the nameplates at the entrance to the surgery have been removed. Is this why internet appointments are needed???

Visited in November 2015. Posted on 24 November 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 04 December 2015

Good Morning

We are sorry that your care has not met your expectations on this occasion, but we are also sorry that you did not contact us directly as we would have been more than happy to try and resolve this issue for you.

When registering with this practice patients are advised that they are given a named GP; however you are able to see any GP you wish to see. This is to allow patients the opportunity to see a doctor sooner rather than waiting for a specific practitioner, as you have said some of our GPs are rather popular and get booked up very quickly; however it would seem you have been given some incorrect information. Our appointment clinics currently allow patients to book routine appointments up to a month in advance, therefore you should not have been advised that the next available appointments are in January.

With regards to online booking, we do offer patient access here at the surgery. This allows patients to request repeat medication and book routine appointments online at their convenience and is a national service. We are aware that we have a very high elderly population but we do not assume that they would not use the service as we have many "silver surfers" and many of our patients find the service very helpful. It is designed to provide easier access for all patients. It applies to all our GP at the practice; of which, we have Dr Ghazi, Dr Martin, Dr Finlay, Dr Tasou and our advanced Nurse Practitioner Barbara Rennells.

If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to email us at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net. Once again we are sorry for the issues you have experienced on this occasion.


Birchington Medical Centre.

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Avoid this surgery if you can

When you get to see a Doctor or Nurse it is not too bad. Almost impossible to see a regular doctor. The back up services, reception etc are very poor.

Visited in October 2015. Posted on 07 November 2015

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 16 November 2015

We are sorry to hear you are disappointment with the services we offer here at Birchington Medical Centre. If you would like to discuss any particular issues in more detail please contact us on birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net.

Regards

Birchington Medical Centre

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