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 43 ratings for this GP surgery

1.5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 43 ratings for this GP surgery

Telephone access

2 out of 5 stars

(44 ratings)

Appointments

1.5 out of 5 stars

(44 ratings)

Dignity and respect

2.5 out of 5 stars

(43 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

2.5 out of 5 stars

(40 ratings)

Providing accurate information

2.5 out of 5 stars

(40 ratings)

Reviews

62 total

Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 5 stars

Delighted with Birchington Medical Centre

I am delighted with the treatment we receive from BMC, from both the support staff and the doctors. We never have a problem getting an appointment when we need one. We are OAP's and very pleased with the excellent service we receive from the surgery.

Visited in August 2014. Posted on 19 August 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 21 August 2014

Thank you very much for your kind comments. I'm sure this will encourage the staff to continue to improve our service to patients and will share with them accordingly.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Gerry reviewed Birchington Medical Centre

Treatnent

I am very satisfied with the treatment I get.The on-line booking system is brilliant.
I do not like telling the receptionist what is wrong with me but they are always nice and courteous.
The surgery seems fully manned.
Only the telephone system needs reviewing .

Visited in August 2014. Posted on 13 August 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 14 August 2014

Thank you for this feedback, it shows we are making progress. The phone system has improved, partly due to more staff but we will review the telephone service again when the next contract comes up for renewal.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

"Fobbed off" by Birchington Medical Centre

I work for NHS and am disgusted that I work for the same oragnisation as the staff at Birchington Medical Centre. I simply needed to change an appointment and was advised "see another GP as a temporary patient or go to A & E". As a member of the QEQM Hospital staff I know how many inapprpriate referrals go through A & E and feel very "fobbed off" because calling at 5pm must be home time! No one helps you and you are left with no help at all. I feel bad for some patients who are elderly or maybe unaware of what is best within the NHS and think so many patients are left without the appropriate care needed! I think a massive review is needed of this GP surgery!

Visited in July 2014. Posted on 04 August 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 05 August 2014

I must say I don't understand why a request to change an appointment has resulted in advice to see another GP as a temporary patient or go to A and E. 5pm is not home time, we are open until 6.30, so again I don't understand why you did not get the matter sorted.
If you could drop me details at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will happily look into the matter and get this sorted out.

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Appointments

Having recently moved into the area we were unaware of this surgeries history. We will be looking to register elsewhere as it is almost impossible to book an appointment or to get advice from the reception there. There seems to be a very laid back approach to booking you in on arrival and if you do get through on the phone the telephone manner certainly needs working on. I get that in a busy surgery it may be difficult to deal with all enquiries efficiently but our previous one managed perfectly and actually made the patients feel at ease and not as though they were tiresome and a drain to help.
Some serious training and systems overhaul is required for this place.

Visited in March 2014. Posted on 29 July 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 29 July 2014

Thank you for your feedback - as you can see we are really trying to improve the appointments and phone systems but it is taking longer to sustain those improvements that I would have thought. We are also hit by leave and some sickness among staff this week so we are struggling somewhat. Can I encourage you to sign up to online services so as to make your own appointments and I will be very happy to talk through how to do this. Please contact me at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net and I will be very happy to assist.

Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Receptionist are rude

I am new to the surgery so I rung up at 11:30 to get some results.

I was polite and started with, "Good morning, I had some X Rays a few weeks ago and....". Before I could finish my sentence the member of staff very rudely cut me off and spoke over me and said "You have to call back after 12:30, that when we give results" and more or less hung up on me.

I do not know the policy and even if I did that is no way to speak to someone.

I am moving surgeries as I do not agree with being who are paid to be a receptionist and part of their role is patient care being rude.

Visited in July 2014. Posted on 29 July 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 29 July 2014

I'm very sorry about this, I have made some enquiries and identified the person you spoke to. I have taken her to task and she is very clear about the impact she has had on you and promised to improve. As ever, it is the way you speak to people which makes the interaction effective. If you would contact me at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will be very glad to speak and apologise directly.

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Jane Talbot-Major gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 4 stars

A New Lease Of Life

Since the bad press (a lot of it justified) of last year, the surgery seems to have turned itself around. There are more reception staff who are friendly and helpful. I very rarely have any problems getting through on the phone to make an appointment, although it can be a bit problematic getting to see your own designated doctor, but as with most surgeries you can usually get an appointment on the day you phone with a duty doctor. My doctor was not particularly popular, a bit abrupt and surly (not a good bedside manner!) but I am with another doctor now. You could`nt find a more caring, considerate person.

Visited in July 2014. Posted on 02 July 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 03 July 2014

Thank you for your kind words, I am sure the staff appreciate a few words of encouragement as we strive to make the improvements that you have noticed sustained and consistent. You also raise a good point, that any patient can elect to have a different doctor, as we recognise that patients and doctors are people too and it is really important to build a rapport in the consultation.
Thank you
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 5 stars

Such a pleasant surgery to be a part of!

I have to say that i find all staff at this surgery a pleasure to go and see they are so friendly and polite. I have had several queries over the last few weeks but this was swiftly resolved each time by a person in reception. I would personally like to thank them and their team for helping me through my tough issues and times in the past as i know you are very busy as it is. I really feel for you all as it is not an easy job. I have to say that the telephone system in reception has improved ten fold in the last 2 months and i have never been kept waiting for more that 20 seconds before someone answers the phone. Nothing seems to much for them. I am very proud to be a patient at this surgery. Well done and keep up the good work. Tim

Visited in May 2014. Posted on 21 June 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 02 July 2014

Thank you for your kind words, Tim. We really are trying to improve the service to patients and I will pass on your comments to the reception team.

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Barbara Arnold reviewed Birchington Medical Centre

Appointments

I thought the surgery had done away with the ridiculous scenario of phoning up at 08.00 am for an appointment, but no I have been told today to phone at 08:00 am for an appointment for the day of my choice otherwise it will be a 3 week wait to see a doctor Although my problem is non-urgent cannot wait 3 weeks!! As I, like many other people, have to actually go to work and I indeed start at 08:00 am What do you suggest we do to see a doctor before 3 weeks?

I would be glad for your suggestions!

Visited in June 2014. Posted on 02 June 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 07 July 2014

Sorry for the delayed response. As many have already noted, our capacity for appointments has improved, but is not yet consistent. As soon as we get that consistency, fewer appointments will need to kept back on a daily basis to ensure that those who need to get an appointment that day actually can.
We are now looking at extending our hours and are consulting with the patient groups to see which would be best, but are looking at earlier starts and into the evening. If you drop me a line at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will take your preferences into account and update you when the new hours start. Likewise, if you drop me a line I will try and sort out your appointment. Have you registered / tried to book appointments online?
Looking forward to hearing from you so I can help.

Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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Patrick Luger gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 2 stars

General service

On Friday the 16th of May i had a telephone conversation with my GP requesting a prescription for some fudisic cream and some Cocodamol tablets.

These medications were not part of my repeat prescription but had however been prescribed in the past.

The doctor informed that she would deal with the matter and the prescription would be ready for the following Monday, giving the surgery time to process this i delayed collection until Tuesday am for collection.

Surprise surprise, no prescription, leaving the matter until late afternoon i phoned the surgery and was told eventually by the receptionist that it could not be found and that a new one would have to be issued.

I am not very happy with this situation and would ask how do prescriptions disappear, and would also point out that although lack of these medication is in this case not life threatening, in somebody elses situation it may well be so.

Further i also note in some of your comments that appointments can be booked on line.

Although registered i find that when i attempt this i am notified to contact the surgery.

I could go on but i think all my complaints are covered in other reviews.

Yours faithfully Patrick J Luger.

Visited in May 2014. Posted on 20 May 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 28 May 2014

I'm sorry for the delayed prescription on the 16th May. Unfortunately the doctor is away due to sickness and I am unable to investigate what she did once she had issued it. I will make contact with you directly once I have looked into the matter.
In relation to online appointments, we have had a couple of technical issues, but we are also working to increase clinical capacity to enable more appointments to be booked online. From June we will be able to extend nurse practitioner / nurse cover and from July we can add another GP, so the situation should improve. When I contact you about the prescription issue I will explain further.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager
birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Continuation of care

I have been with this practice for over 20 years and I have to say that in the last few years it has gone completely down hill. The main problem seems to be that it is extremely difficult to get an appointment to see the same doctor more than once for the same condition. I tried this morning to get an appointment with the same GP that I saw last time only to be told that there are no bookable appointments as they are on holiday at the beginning of next month and fully booked up till then. I was told that I could try and phone daily at 8am to try for an appointment with this doctor but that has left me really confused as I thought that was for emergencies only. While it isn't essentially urgent, I cannot afford to wait 6 weeks to sort this out. Previous experience has taught me that continuation of care with the same GP is very important. For example I saw about 6 different doctors over 8 years with the same symptoms which were worsening as time went on. I was told it was the menopause, could be a blood clot in my legs and various other things which were all treated/ tested to no avail. After getting to the point where I couldn't walk at all, I googled all my symptoms to find out that I had an extreme reaction to the Statin tablets I was taking for 10 years and not one doctor picked up on this. I then had to fight my corner and insist on a blood test to prove this before the pressure to continue taking them was dropped. I now have another set of problems that have been going on for a couple of years and I have seen several different doctors and finally thanks to the one GP that has actually listened, I think I have the answer. Unfortunately I cannot seem to get an appointment with this doctor to get this treated and sorted out. One not very happy patient!!!

Visited in April 2014. Posted on 09 May 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 13 May 2014

I'm sorry to read about your experience. We recognise that we need more doctor capacity and are currently recruiting. You are also right in that the daily appointments are retained for emergency. We have tried a number of things to improve - the Nurse practitioner experiment appears to be working for the daily emergency appointments and we are looking to increase this too - which should have a knock on effect of increasing doctor availability. Can I suggest that you register for online services, as this will enable you to book your own doctor appointment? If you drop me a line I will arrange this registration for you. Finally, if you drop me a line I will see if I can sort out your appointment with the same doctor, so you won't have to keep repeating yourself.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

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