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 42 ratings for this GP surgery

1.5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 42 ratings for this GP surgery

Telephone access

2 out of 5 stars

(43 ratings)

Appointments

1.5 out of 5 stars

(43 ratings)

Dignity and respect

2.5 out of 5 stars

(42 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

2.5 out of 5 stars

(39 ratings)

Providing accurate information

2.5 out of 5 stars

(40 ratings)

Reviews

62 total

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 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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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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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 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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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 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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MrsL gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Why is it taking so long to get it right?

For the last 2 years I have needed regular monthly medication and out of the last what is now 25 months the number of times I have been able to collect my prescription and it be exactly right is once! Most of my medication should not be stopped abruptly but this has happened on at least half of the repeat prescription requests. When I have pointed this out to staff at best I've had a shrug of the shoulders and worse I was actually asked why am I expecting the receptionist to dos anything about it. I've had letters telling me to make an appointment with the doctor because of blood tests which I have to have 2 weekly and the person I spoke to decided that it wasn't important or urgent enough to require a quick appointment so I was given a non urgent appointment for nearly 6 weeks away. So when I go to this appointment I will be asked why I am there because the gp doesn't have the time to read anything and I will say that it's for the blood tests 6 weeks previously but it's ok because I've had three other tests since then. There was one gp there that I trusted but they have since moved on so now I am gp dodging because apparently according to one "busy stressed" gp if I loose some weight all my problems will go away! I have been misdiagnosed by gps there twice and every time I leave BMC I feel let down, stressed out, not believed and like I have got absolutely nowhere. I have been a reception manager and a team leader and an office manager and I truly can not understand why this appalling work ethic and attitude towards patients and those in need of empathy as well as the correct medical advice. Sort it out BMC.

Visited in April 2014. Posted on 08 April 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 14 April 2014

I'm horrified to read this account, it looks like you have been short changed on a number of counts. I would like to discuss these issues in detail, so if you would drop me a line at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will be very happy to sort out the various matters.
It is taking longer than I thought to sort out issues here - some are due to staff training, some due to systems that are not working properly and some due to underperformance. I am working with experts from other surgeries to iron out the problems, so I would appreciate your patience while things begin to change and bed in.
What I have been doing is using experiences like yours to highlight to the team how their decision making effects patients service, and I would like to use this as an example, though of course I will take out any identifiable details. Therefore I would really appreciate contact outside of this forum if you were agreeable.
Adrian Young
Practice manager

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Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

More stressful going to this surgery than an operation

Going to this surgery as it is more stressful than any illness. This week my husband tried phoning the surgery at various times over two days trying to get through. In the end he had to go to the surgery to make the appointment and was told he would have to wait four weeks before he could have a blood test.

Two weeks ago my daughter requested a certificate after having had an operation and was told she had to collect it as it could not be posted. When I went to collect it the following week I was told it was not available as it had not been requested and a request would be put in for the doctor to do it on Monday as he does not work on Fridays. The receptionist I saw was more interested in listening and commenting on what was going on at the other window than dealing with me. The website states the doctor who needed to sign the certifcate works on Fridays and from what I can see the website is out of date and lacking in any accurate information. While there I picked up a leaflet which told me I had missed the last community meeting which, had I known about, I would have attended as I certainly have not seen any improvement. As you can tell from my comments it is not just me but our whole family who appear to have problems with this surgery. I just wonder if my husband will get his blood test results like I did a few month back via a phone call that said there is a prescription awaiting collection with no explanation as to what I was being treated for!! Hopefully the documents my daughter is waiting for will be posted and we can refrain from visiting the surgery again until it is essential and/or things have improved. Maybe I will hear about any future community meeting before the event so I can attend and hear about progress that has been made.

Visited in April 2014. Posted on 12 April 2014

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Birchington Medical Centre replied on 14 April 2014

It is not my intention that contact with the surgery is more stressful than any illness. There are a number of issues raised here which I would like to talk through and then use to train our staff to improve the service. The processes are being updated and staff have changed and are being trained, so there has been a lag in improvement, but I am starting to see signs of improvement. However, it is when the patients see signs of improvement will they be validated. If you could drop me a ine at birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net I will be very happy to listen and respond to the range of issues that have troubled you.
Thank you for your continued, though almost exhausted, patience.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

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