West Malling Group Practice

Milverton, 116 High Street, West Malling, ME19 6NE
With surgeries at: West Malling, Leybourne & Kings Hill

Catchment Area

To enable patient’s to check their address is within our local boundary.

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Apprentice Vacancy

Please click on the link below to view the apprentice vacancy.

Apprentice Ad – 2018

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West Kent CCG Update


Stroke Consultation update June 2018 WEST KENT CCG UPDATE

Dear colleagues,

Today we have published two reports about the public consultation on urgent stroke services in Kent and Medway. We would like to thank all the CCG staff and general practice teams who have helped to promote the consultation, either through attending  events or circulating the consultation material and promoting it to others.

The two reports are:

Consultation response report: This report has been written by DJS Research, an independent research consultancy, who analysed all the consultation responses. It provides a detailed report on the themes emerging from the public consultation.

Consultation activity report: This report, written by the consultation team, sets out how we delivered the formal consultation; describing the range of activity we undertook across Kent and Medway and neighbouring areas.

Both reports are available at www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke.

We should stress that no decisions have been taken at this point. The Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups, reviewed the reports at a meeting yesterday (28 June 2018); and will be looking at the responses in more detail in the coming months as part of developing a preferred option.

We would encourage you to look at the response report which we feel gives an accurate reflection of both the support and concerns raised during the consultation. It was good to receive such a wide range of comments from across Kent, Medway, south east London and East Sussex; and to see how important getting our stroke services right is to people. The views we have gathered will play an important part of the next stage of decision making.

The process and timetable for reaching a preferred option is:

• Summer to early autumn: consideration of the consultation responses and establishing whether any viable additional options have been put forward to evaluate in detail, agreeing the approach to the evaluation of the shortlisted options, meeting with the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, evaluation workshops.

• Autumn: identifying a preferred option, development of the ‘decision making business case’, including discussion with the South East Clinical Senate, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

• Winter: final assurance process with NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the Joint Committee of CCGs meeting to agree the preferred option for implementation.


To keep up to date on the progress of the stroke review please subscribe to the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s regular bulletin at www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/subscribe

Yours faithfully,

On behalf of the Stroke Review Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups


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Half Day Closure 2018

The Practice will be closed from 12pm on Wednesday 17th July 2018 for Protected Learning Time. This applies to all three sites.

As always these closures are set by the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group not the Practice and are to ensure that all teams get the essential training and development needed. If you require emergency medical treatment while the surgery is closed which cannot wait until they reopen at the usual time on Thursday 18th July 2018 then please call NHS 111.

Thank You

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Patient Services Update June 2018

We now have 7-10 staff on the phones at peak times including but not exclusively first thing in the morning. So if you are number 25 in the queue then you are actually 2-3! Please do hold on don’t hang up and try calling back. Our maximum call wait if you stay on the line is now 15 minutes at peak times. The call queue has now just been extended to 35 to allow more patients to be in the queue as there is more staff answering the phones. Increasing the number from 25 waiting to 35 also makes it easier for you to stay on the line at peak times. At the moment we are not aware of any days or times when the call queues have reached the new maximum limit of 35. We will continue to review this.

The PPG recently polled patients on the options for the music that is used on the phones whilst on hold. “Jazz Piano” got the most votes and this has been updated onto the phone system.

Dr. West has also recorded a personal message to patients that you will hear when you call the practice, we hope you like the changes.

We will continue to recruit and increase the number of staff on the phones till we have reduced call waits to 5 minutes. We are dedicated and active in improving patient access for you.

Clinical Recruitment & Development Including GP’s

The Practice is continuing to recruit more GP’s and are continuing to consider other Primary Care Clinicians including interviews with other Physician Associates and Advanced Nurse Practitioners. The practice is recruiting now to get clinicians in place before local development finishes.

Our Pharmacist Carol Wayman is also studying at the moment to become a Prescriber. Once she has completed the 6 months part time course she will then be able to support the practice in Medication reviews. Another Prescriber is always a great addition and we like to develop the staff we have so we are really pleased to develop Carol further.

A Physiotherapist In Our Surgeries

The practice was successful in a Physiotherapy bid last month and planning with local practices will start soon in setting up protocols and procedures for this new specialist clinical addition. The physiotherapist will rotate around our sites and 3 other local practices as part of a trial to add physiotherapists into Primary Care.

Patient Feedback and Opportunity to ask Questions

Vicki Plummer (Business and Finance Manager) continues to work closely with the PPG to organise and communicate a format for patients to be able to regularly come into the practices and meet with her and discuss any questions or suggestions they have. She spent about 30 minutes at the PPG AGM speaking with patients directly and answering questions on a number of areas.

Vicki has also spoken with many of our patients that attend the “Tired of Being Tired” coffee morning that we hold at Kings Hill Medical Centre on the first Friday of every month. Lots of discussions, updates to patients, and suggestions from patients have been received through these direct meetings.

Vicki is going to continue these Open Meetings with patients and will be available monthly rotating around the 3 practices to give patients an opportunity to chat informally in small groups about changes and improvements. The next open meeting are scheduled  for Kings Hill on Friday 29th June at 9-9.30am, Leybourne Tuesday 31st July 3pm-3.30pm then West Malling Thursday 30th August 12-12.30pm. September Kings Hill date tbc and so the rotation will continue.

Blood Pressure machine for waiting area in Kings Hill



  • The patient gets an accurate and realistic BP reading – without the effects of “white coat” syndrome
  • It also saves precious minutes of clinical time per appointment
  • The patient simply places their arm inside the machine and pushes a button to start measuring.
  • The machine then prints the reading on a slip for the patient to take with them into the appointment
  • New addition this will be in the waiting area at Kings Hill and we will decide on if we need more
  • We are just organising the posters then we will set it up
  • We are very excited to have this as part of our patient access going into the waiting for patients

Diabetic Appointments

We are now going to be offering more appointments on a Tuesday, Wednesday and some Fridays from 12 noon-1.30pm with Sacha starting tomorrow. We are review other ways we can improve access for Diabetic patients long term.

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NHS Choices

NHS Choices: Five steps to mental wellbeing


Below are five things that, according to research, can really help to boost our mental wellbeing:

  • Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.
  • Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.
  • Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.
  • Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.
  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.


For full report click here

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WMGP Questions & Answers:

Question: Is West Malling site closing?    Answer: No, it is up for sale and then the practice will rent back the whole site from the new owners. The practice is in final discussions with 3 serious buyers at present. The sites at Leybourne and Kings Hill are rented sites already.

Question: Are the WMGP sites fit for purpose?  Answer: No not long term. We are looking for commercial buildings that give better patient access, we are looking at land and buildings that will deliver new and improved Primary Care services to our patients for the future. We want staff and patients to be able to park close to the surgery/s, we want staff to have building that are comfortable and viable to work within. Sites that are easy to access for all patients age groups, accessible to patients with a wide range of serious medical conditions. We want to offer more services to relieve the pressure on other NHS services and bring more services to your doorstep. Why do we want to make changes? To improve the services and standards of the practice FOR YOU, our patients.

Question: Is the Practice over subscribed?    Answer: No we have appointments left over, just a small amount at the end of every day normal 1-3. We do hold appointments back for several reasons for emergency appointments so that anyone urgently needing an appointment can be given these spaces.The allocation of these held appointments are managed by the Duty Team on the day. Appointments late on are realised back into the system for Patient Services staff to book into. We monitor daily the number of appointments left and alter the number of book on the day and advance appointments as needed to get the mix right.

Over the next few weeks will be launching appointments up to 6 weeks in advance. At the moment we only launch 3 weeks in advance for a number of Senior Clinician including GP’s. We have offered nurse appointments up to 6 weeks in advance for some time now. We really think this will help patient access for non urgent appointments.

Question: Is WMGP perfect?    Answer: No but we are a team of dedicated, caring, professional, hard working, individuals that work under extreme pressure to keep improving the services available for patients. We have a vision to be counted by ALL our Patients as giving an Excellent Service in the very near future.

Question: With other local practices having closed lists does this put increased pressures on WMGP?  Answer Yes, the majority of the practices around us have what the NHS like to call a “capped lists” and this does increase the pressures on us. We believe in trying to keep an open list so those in our catchment area have the opportunity to register with us. We think this is fair and the right thing to do. We could register patients outside of our catchment areas as well but we have stopped doing this, to protect the patient access for those patients living close to us.

Question: Is the practice recruiting more GP’s?     Answer: Yes, we have a number of interviews for GP’s and Advanced Nurse Practitioners this month. We have interviewed a number of GP’s over the winter but are keen to get the right candidate, with the right skill set, someone with drive and dedication to link in with our passion to be the best. There is a national shortage of GP’s which has made recruitment difficult.

Question: Will WMGP ever have enough GP’s?    Answer: Yes, as described in one of the answers above we have appointments left over everyday. It is also not just about having enough GP’s it is about have a range of Clinical staff. WMGP is at the forefront of development of new Clinical Roles in Primary Care. We already have our own Pharmacist, Physician Associate, a team of Advanced Nurse Practitioners, a team of Practice Nurses as well as a team of Health Care Assistants. Primary Care is no longer about just GP’s.

Question: Does WMGP have a high turnover of Staff?    Answer No, many of our staff have been at the practice for years including a large number that have been with us over 12 years. However we have over the last 6 months started a campaign to continue recruiting a range of Clinical staff and non clinical staff to deal with a growing list and to improve services for patients.

Question: Why is the online booking system low on number of appointments to be able to book?   Answer: The online booking system is part of an NHS system not bought and managed internally at WMGP. We are NOT able to use the online system for appointments other than GP appointments. The concern is if other Clinician Appointments were upload we would have a high chance of patients booking in the with the wrong conditions in the wrong clinicians. If we uploaded all our GP appointments onto the online system we would end up with lots of patients seeing GP’s for coughs and colds when they could be seen by other clinicians. This would mean we were managing the systems very badly as it wouldn’t allow patients with the conditions and symptoms that HAVE to be seen by a GP to be able to get an appointment.  The good news is the NHS is helping to fund new online services in 2018 to improve the present system. We will update you as soon as we have more detailed information and a launch date.

Question: Will Patient Access ever be excellent at WMGP?   Answer: Patient access is our number one project of 2018! We have already employed six new casual workers in 2018, increased the number of phone lines to improve the call waits times. We have also trained three admin staff members within the practice to answer the phones first thing in the morning before they do other administrative work to reduce call waits. 

Call waits if you stay on the line have now been consistently a maximum of  15 minutes at peak times. If you are 25th in the queue at 8.15 this will take a maximum of 15 minutes and quite often already less than 10 minutes to get through to the team. Lots of patients hang up and keep trying again till the number in the queue is lower, please try to stay on the line as we have lots of staff answering the calls. We are continuing to monitor, modify and continuing to train new staff to work Patient Services to answer the phones so these maximum call waits will continue to come down over the next few weeks and months. We understand that Patient Access has not been good enough in the past and we have listened and we do care, and we are changing the way  we work to make a difference.

We now send texts for a variety of reasons and are continuing to develop this as a new communication channel. 

Question: I am a patient and I want to help the practice and the NHS by volunteering, how can I help?  Answer: We have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) that meet around 6 times a year with the practice to discuss the challenges the practice face. They give up time to assist the practice with research, questionnaires, marketing. We hope to grow the number of patients that are on the committee and are able to volunteer to help the practice so that more can be done. Many local practices have volunteers that help fund raise funds to help improve services. we are very interested if anyone would like to contact the practice to find out more.

Question: I got a letter asking me to call the Practice to book an appointment. Could the Practice not call me?   Answer: We have started to call patients rather than sending a letter asking you to call us. This better allows us to monitor patient access of specialist appointments, it is a more personal, caring and professional way of organising a review appointment or repeat appointment. We will continue to trial and change the way we book and ask you to book appointments to make it perfect for you.


We look forward to more questions coming into the practice at westmalling@nhs.net  to help us understand your frustrations, problems and your positive feedback so we can get a service that is rated excellent by patients. We also publish patient comments on our website so if you have noticed a difference and want to let us know please also use the email address for this purpose.

I will be publishing times and dates at the end of this month where you will be able to come in and personally share your comments with me. I have done this a couple of times already and had some great conversations and discussions with patients at both West Malling and Kings Hill. I will rotate the meetings around all three practices and vary the times of the meetings in the hopes that it will accommodate a variety of patients to attend.

Kind Regards

Vicki Plummer

Business & Finance Manager, West Malling Group Practice



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Walk, run or remember for Heart of Kent Hospice this Spring!

Walk or Cycle in aid of Heart of Kent Hospice this Bank Holiday weekend!
This Sunday we are delighted the sun is due to shine for our annual Bluebell Walk. Starting and finishing at Harrietsham Village Hall, the walk follows the traditional 6-mile walk amongst the Bluebells on the North Downs and through some of Kent’s most beautiful countryside. You can register at the Village Hall on the day between 8:30am and 10:30am

On Monday join the 10th Annual Cloisters Bike Ride with 50% of proceeds going to Heart of Kent Hospice. You can choose between three glorious bike rides through the quiet leafy lanes and charming villages of the North Downs of West Kent. The Challenge (44 miles), The Classic (23 miles) or The Cruise (13 miles).

For further information on both events visit https://www.hokh.org/events/

Sunflower Appeal
The care we provide at the Hospice continues in the months and even years after a loved one has passed away. Remembering those we’ve lost is an important part of the journey.

This is why we’re inviting you to remember someone special as part of our Sunflower Appeal. Every year we encourage those who have lost someone dear to them to celebrate their life by dedicating a sunflower and making a donation to the Hospice in their memory. The sunflowers are placed in our Hospice garden, where you can come and see them and remember your loved one during our remembrance event on 9th June between 11am and 1pm.

Losing someone we love can be so lonely and isolating, and the Sunflower Appeal is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their life and remember all the happy times that you have shared.

To make a donation and dedicate a sunflower to a loved one, please visit bit.ly/sunflowerappealevent

KM Colour Run
Sunday 10 June 2018
Become a real like canvas and run, jog or walk in this exciting and very popular Colour Run organised by the KM Charity Team. This is a fun opportunity to raise money and fantastic for getting those all-important end of event selfies whilst covered in all the colours of the rainbow.

The Colour Run is taking place at Betteshanger Country Park on Sunday 10 June 2018. Adults are £20 and children £12, children under 4 are free. Entry includes a white t-shirt, coloured powder, glasses and medal for all those that complete the run. To book your place visit www.kmcharitychallenege.co.uk

To book or for information on our events please visit www.hokh.org/events or telephone 01622 790195.

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Public Health England NHS Breast Screening Programme Incident. National screening offer to women aged 70-79 years on 01/04/2018 who have missed a final screen

Public Health England with the support of NHS Digital is writing to all women who have been
affected by this incident. All women registered with a GP will receive a letter
by the end of May outlining how they can access the helpline and take up the
screening offer if they wish. More than 206,000 women will receive a letter
telling them about the issues.
 The letter will tell women who had not reached their 72nd birthday by 1/4/2018
that they will be sent a catch-up invitation for a screen by their Breast
Screening Service. Women who were between 72 and 79 years on 1/4/2018
will be given information and offered the chance to make a self- referral via
the dedicated helpline.
 All women affected who would like to take up the invitation for a screen will be
offered an appointment by the end of October 2018.

 NHS Choices will have specific information for women affected by this
incident. Information, including on the potential benefits and harms of breast
screening for women in this age group, is available to support their choice of
whether or not to take up the offer of a re-screen.

 Public Health England has put in place a helpline for women who want further information and
for women who have cancer. The Helpline telephone number is 0800 169 2692


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Practice News and Updates

New Staff Updates

Debra Stevens starts on 14th May in our Medical Secretaries team, we look forward to welcoming Debra to the team.

Dr Dalliya Abdulrazzaq has been on maternity leave and returns also on 14th May (Salaried GP)  (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday)

We have a further 2 new Patient Service staff that have joined us in the last few weeks as part of our on going commitment to increase the number of staff on the phones and to have more cover for when other staff within this team are off sick or on leave. Terry and Kathryn will spend 3 weeks in our Induction Training Program.

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