GP surgeries combine for weekend care
Three GP surgeries are combining to offer urgent weekend health care.
For the last six months, staff at Ivy Court Surgery in Tenterden have manned a walk-in service on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
From September, the Sunday sessions will be at Hamstreet Surgery, with Saturday ones staying in Tenterden.
The move is part of a collaboration between surgeries at Tenterden, Hamstreet and Woodchurch, which form the new Ashford Rural Community Network.
The urgent care centre will be open from 9am to noon on both days, with patients seen on a clinical need basis.
It will be manned by a GP, nurse and receptionist. Since March, patients from Hamstreet and Woodchurch have been able to use the service at Ivy Court.
Between 30 and 50 people have been seen each weekend who might otherwise have gone to A&E at the William Harvey Hospital. Paul Nelhams, from the Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group, said similar weekend cover would soon be introduced in north and south Ashford.
The change to services takes effect on Saturday, September 6.
It is a walk-in service for patients registered at Ivy Court, Hamstreet or Woodchurch Surgery. The Hamstreet Surgery is at Ruckinge Road, Hamstreet.