NHS Kent and Medway is proposing to move the GP practice and walk-in centre at Canterbury Street, Gillingham, to Balmoral Gardens Community Healthy Living Centre, Gillingham. The Healthy Living Centre, which opened in 2011, is an award-winning, purpose-built centre which is a much more comfortable setting for care than the portable building where the practice is based at the moment.

The current accommodation in Canterbury Street, Gillingham was only ever intended to be temporary and its planning permission lapses next October. It is important for the practice and walk-in centre, which are provided by DMC Healthcare, to be in a permanent base before then. Dr Peter Green, Medical Director of NHS Kent and Medway, said: “The current accommodation, although adequate, does not provide the location and setting that patients deserve. “In contrast, Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre offers a much more spacious, modern and comfortable setting for patient care. Evidence shows that patients benefit from being treated in a better environment.

“Balmoral Gardens also has an on-site pharmacy where patients will be able to pick up their prescriptions, a community café, and good public transport. We will also have the flexibility to offer more walk-in attendances, if needed. “NHS Kent and Medway is committed to providing patients with first-class treatment and services in Medway. We believe this proposed move is absolutely in the best interests of patients.” Dr Anil Gupta, Managing Director of DMC Healthcare which runs the GP practice and walk-in centre, said: “We have provided good care from the temporary building for almost three years; we look forward to being able to do even more for our patients from Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre.” Balmoral Gardens is within walking distance of Gillingham town centre, the main line train station, bus services and a large public car park with disabled parking spaces is close by, making it easier for patients to access.

Patients will also be able to collect their prescriptions from the on-site pharmacy, which is open from 7.00am to 10.00pm Monday to Saturday and 8.00am to 6.00pm Sunday.
To make sure everyone has the chance to have their say, NHS Kent and Medway is consulting with patients, the public and interested stakeholders from 30 Nov 2012 to 28 February 2012, on the most appropriate way to move the walk-in services provided by DMC Healthcare to a more suitable location at Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre in Gillingham.

Patients can let NHS Kent and Medway know their views and contribute to how services can be improved at Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre in a number of ways:
• Come along to the public meeting on Tuesday, 5 February, 2013 from 6.00pm to 8.30pm at the Balmoral Masonic Hall, Balmoral Road, Gillingham, ME7 4NT
• Find information on display boards at Canterbury Street, Balmoral Gardens or Gillingham Library and give your feedback
• Fill out the online survey HERE
• Read our consultation document to find out more about the proposal and fill in the paper or online survey to give your views
• If you are a local organisation holding an event from 30 November, 2012 to 28 February, 2013 and you would like us to come and talk to you about the proposal, please contact the citizen engagement team on 01634 335173