Doctors make case for inclusion in hub scheme

    St Andrew’s Medical Centre

    A family doctors’ practice in Southborough has warned that there are now limitations on the services it can provide as it now has to deal with four times the number of patients than originally planned.

    Doctors and staff at the St Andrew’s Medical Centre have written to town councillors with proposals for the creation of a new medical centre to accompany the Southborough Hub development to alleviate the crisis.

    Currently situated at Pinewood Gardens, the premises, which was built in 1987, was originally designed to cater for just over 2,000 registered patients.

    However, this figure has already risen four fold sand the practice predicts numbers will increase to 10,000 registered patients by 2020.

    The existing centre has six consultancy rooms and two treatments rooms, and the six doctors would like to increase these to 10 and four, respectively.

    In its letter to the town councillors, the practice said: “Our need for change is the limitations on service we can now provide to our own patients and the surrounding community largely due to lack of space in our current premises.”

    It adds the current NHS five-year plan stipulates the need for GP practices to develop specialist centres and that the hub is in the right location and the right size to help provide the extra services required.

    These include re-establishing family services for Tunbridge Wells and the establishment of closer links to local schools.

    Dr John Riley, senior partner said: “We want to provide the best service possible for our present and future patients and, unfortunately, we are unable to do that at our current centre.