The news that both GP practices in Allington are to be closed at the end of May, due to the retirement of both the doctors, has been greeted with dismay by your councillors.
County Councillors, Dan Daley and Rob Bird are pressing the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (WKCCG), which is responsible for this provision, to tell us soon what their plans are to maintain this primary care close to residents in Allington. We are heavily critical of the Commissioners for not having dealt with the situation sooner and better.
They have also written to Helen Grant MP pressing her to take up the matter with the CCG and with the Secretary of State.
To read the emails exchanged between Dan Daley and Rob Bird with West Kent CCG and with Helen Grant MP click here.
Dan Daley commented, "It was inevitable that the Allington GPs would want to retire one day. However, it has been patently obvious for years that the NHS was failing to plan for the necessary primary care provision to meet residents' needs. Not enough doctors and nurses are being trained. Investment has been inadequate to meet current demand, let alone the pressures from increased housing in our area.
"The promise of extra Government spending on health and care services and the proposed new medical school in Canterbury are both very welcome and long overdure. But they are not going to solve the crisis in Allington and the rest of the county in the coming months."
Rob Bird added, "The West Kent CCG excuses are lamentable. They have known about the 5,500 patients in Allington and the thousands more new Maidstone residents who will need primary care provision as new houses are occupied in the near future. Considerable sums of developer contributions have been pledged to the NHS in the past few years specifically to finance the additional demand for services. So why has the CCG not taken the necessary steps to ensure that the vital GP services are maintained? It's really not good enough."
We encourage all Allington residents to make their views known to the Commissioners by writing to Ms Gail Arnold, West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, Wharf House, Medway Wharf Road, Tonbridge, Kent. TN9 1RE