This month I organised and met with GPs and practice managers from across Rochester and Strood to discuss the problems and opportunities facing GP surgeries.
I had previously met with representatives of the Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group around plans for Medway’s future health infrastructure, and I still feel there is much more we can do to plan properly with the prospect of thousands more homes in the area by 2035. It is essential Medway Council and our health bodies come together to plan for the long-term, rather than just tick boxes and taking short-term options.
Medway is growing and GP surgeries are struggling to retain the doctors and nurses needed to support our community and their financial and administrative support is dwindling. I have been struck at how much red tape and paperwork our GPs have to contend with on a daily basis when all they want to do is doctoring. It is time we got back to basics.
I will be meeting the Health Secretary to highlight the issues growing in Medway and request more attention to be given to our GP and primary healthcare services. This remains one of my main priorities in Rochester and Strood, and while some progress has been made with the location of additional local funds, there is still some way to go.