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 48 ratings for this GP surgery

1.5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 48 ratings for this GP surgery

Telephone access

2 out of 5 stars

(50 ratings)

Appointments

2 out of 5 stars

(50 ratings)

Dignity and respect

2.5 out of 5 stars

(49 ratings)

Involvement in decisions

2.5 out of 5 stars

(45 ratings)

Providing accurate information

2.5 out of 5 stars

(47 ratings)

Reviews

69 total

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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.

Report as unsuitable

maxine williams gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

failure to answer phone

for 4 solid hours i have been trying to get through to someone regarding an elderly client of ours who needs an urgent visit from a D/N but no one is willing to answer the phone to me. I am very disappointed in this surgery and the level of care they are supposed to deliver. I hope that this service has improved for when i need to contact them again.

Visited in October 2014. Posted on 01 October 2014

Report as unsuitable

Birchington Medical Centre replied on 02 October 2014

I'm sorry for this, but actually the District Nursing team is not part of my staff, even though they are housed here. Their role is of course out in the community, so if you are ringing they would be out of their office. In fact they are normally only there first thing and at lunch time. If you could contact me (birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net) to discuss which numbers you are using to contact them, I will be happy to advise so this doesn't occur again.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

Report as unsuitable

Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Telephone consultation

I rang at 8:00 to make an appointment could not get one but was offered a telephone consultation after morning surgery very long mornings at this practice as eventually after calling back 5 times I got a call at 6:25 advising me that a prescription had been left for me at the chemists that I can pick up in the morning long mornings clever doctors who can prescribe without talking to the patient and leaving a prescription at a chemist that is now closed meaning that having spent all day waiting for a call my plans have to be changed tomorrow as I now have to pick up a prescription that had you kept to your promise of a call after morning surgery this would not have happened

Visited in October 2014. Posted on 24 October 2014

Report as unsuitable

Birchington Medical Centre replied on 29 October 2014

I am sorry about your experience, it is clear that the present system is not working as effectively as we envisaged, so we are planning to change the system to remove the 'call-back' procedure entirely. This is slightly dependent on our success in recruiting another doctor - we have two that we will be interviewing shortly, but nevertheless we will be changing the appointment system very shortly. We are also recruiting staff to the team to answer phones in order to improve.
Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience and delay.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager

Report as unsuitable

Anonymous gave Birchington Medical Centre a rating of 1 stars

Differing information given by reception staff

My husband was given the choice of a telephone consultation, which we thought was a brilliant idea. he was told the day and the receptionist said it would be between 12 and 3pm. So as he was at work, he arranged his meetings around this time, only for the doctor to phone at 10.15am. He went down to the surgery that evening to be told by another receptionist that the doctor could phone any time of the day. It would be great if all the reception staff read from the same book.
So therefore I still have not had a phone consultation with the doctor.

Visited in October 2014. Posted on 31 October 2014

Report as unsuitable

Birchington Medical Centre replied on 06 November 2014

Sorry for the delay in response - I have been busy recruiting for the reception team. Sorry for the misinformation - they should have clarified that it is really difficult to specify when the Dr will be able to call - they can deal with all sorts of issues which can put their timings out. Normally they do have a morning clinic and try to make their calls before their afternoon clinic starts at 3pm, but if for instance a patients fails to attend for their appointment, the Dr may take that opportunity to do phone calls in that slot. If you could contact me I will be able to find out what happened and book an appropriate appointment for you if it is still required.
Adrian Young
Practice Manager
birchingtonmcpm@nhs.net

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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.

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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

Report as unsuitable

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.

Report as unsuitable