1. ITV Report

Mounting pressure on GP surgeries in Kent may force closure of patient lists

Folkestone East Family Practice struggled to cope with the volume of patients Photo: ITV

People in Kent will benefit from improved care after an investment was made to reduce pressure on struggling GP services.

More than £1.2 million has been offered to struggling GP surgeries in Kent, following requests to the Clinical Commissioning Group to close growing patient lists. The investment from the CCG averages at £20 per patient.

This follows a series of complaints that were filed to the CCG, claiming there were not enough resources to cope with new patients and blamed the difficulty of recruiting new doctors to the area.

GP services in Folkestone are under particularly high pressure, following the closure of Folkestone East Family Practice.

Thousands of patients will be affected by the changes. The CCG is working to finalise a solution that will ensure patients are able to access local GP services after 1st November.

Patients will be affected by the closure of Folkestone East Family Practice
Practices in the Folkestone area have applied to the CCG to close their patient lists
Per patient has been offered to practices taking on new patients to support costs in the first year

To try and overcome the problem, the CCG is supporting the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University’s request for a new medical school, to educate the next generation of GPs for rural and coastal areas.

Talks are already underway with hopes to build a new purpose-built primary care centre in Folkestone.

Damien Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, has raised concerns over the redistribution of patients.