More than a year after planners approved a much-needed £1.8 million expansion, Newton Place Surgery is still waiting for funding.
And with no start date in sight for building work the medical practice, which serves around 18,500 people, is under increasing strain with more than 600 new patients a year.
The surgery, in Newton Road, plans to expand the size of its premises by 75 percent. But since April, when all the tenders came in over budget, little progress has been made.
“We are continually coming up against barriers with NHS England requesting further details all the time,” the surgery told patients in August.
And despite local MP Helen Whately writing to the local clinical commissioning group – the body responsible for commissioning health care services – the latest patient update reported an emergency meeting with NHS England “sadly at this stage looks unlikely to proceed”.
With more than 1,300 new houses being built in around Faversham, the extra capacity is desperately needed. With routine waits to see a GP now between three to four weeks, patients are increasingly relying on the surgery’s same-day urgent care clinics to see a doctor (see our letters page).
An NHS England spokesman said it was “currently working through the business case and due diligence review process”.
“This is a normal process, enabling the necessary financial checks to be done on behalf of the taxpayer when large sums of money are involved. Once the Business Case review process is complete, we would hope to be in a position to move to the next stage in support of this proposal at Newton Place”.
The Faversham Eye contacted both Newton Place Surgery and GP (and Swale councillor) Dr Alastair Gould for comment but they did not respond.