St Werburgh Medical Practice ruled inadequate


St Werburgh Medical Practice in Bells Lane, Hoo, Rochester rated as inadequate by the Quality Care Commission (QCC). The QCC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Kent Online wrote the following article about the practice:

Kent Online article about St Werburgh Medical Practice

Are we surprised?

This is certainly no surprise for local Medway residents.

It’s common knowledge in Medway that health service levels could be improved as people experience increasingly longer waiting times and inadequate care at plenty of medical practices in the area. you’ve only got to look in a few Facebook groups to see the experiences that people have.

The evidence in this report is a real concern

Patients experience poor service regularly and have been let down on a numbers of occasions, even after the practice itself admits its own errors, often citing ‘there are no full-time doctors’ to sign off much needed medication. Getting an appointment within three weeks is nothing short of a miracle but it’s all good, you can always go to Medway Hospital Accident and Emergency and wait 4 hours.

We’ve spoken to a number of people who use the services of both surgeries at Hoo and at the Balmoral Healthy Living Centre in Gillingham, or whatever it is called these days. The prognosis is not good.

‘You put in your repeat prescriptions 72 hours in advance like they say and they still don’t get them done’

‘It’s really difficult to get through on the phone and there are rarely any appointments available’

This report from the QCC goes some way to explaining why people are having trouble…

St Werburgh Medical Practice in Hoo ruled Inadequate by the QCC

Updated 20 December 2019

We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at St Werburgh Medical Practice on 20 November 2018. The overall rating for the practice was requires improvement. The full comprehensive report on the November 2018 inspection can be found by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for St Werburgh Medical Practice on our website at

After our inspection in November 2018 the practice wrote to us with an action plan outlining how they would make the necessary improvements to comply with the regulations.

We carried out an announced comprehensive follow-up inspection on 5 and 6 November 2019 to confirm that the practice had carried out their plan to meet the legal requirements in relation to the breaches in regulations that we identified in our previous inspection on 20 November 2018. This report covers findings in relation to those requirements.

This practice is now rated as Inadequate overall.

This is an extract from the report. Click the image below to read the full report.

St Werburgh Medical Practice - inadequte (QCC)

St Werburgh Medical Practice – Inspection report downloads (direct downloads)

Facebook Page for the practice –
The practice’s own website even lists the QCC results as inadequate.
St Werburgh Medical Practice displays QCC results on their own website

Other DMC managed services as listed on the NHS website:

DMC St.Werburgh Med.Practice
98 Bells Lane
Hoo St Werburgh

DMC St Werburgh Medical Practice
Stoke Village Hall
Mallard Way
Lower Stoke

Click here to view reviews and responses left by patients.

Unravelling the business behind the services is almost impossible, with archived profile pages on the QCC site, name changes including the following:

The surgery previously known as:

Medway NHS Healthcare Centre

Community Healthy Living Centre

Balmoral Gardens

Balmoral Clinic

DMC Medway NHS Healthcare Centre, Healthy Living Centre, Balmoral Gardens, Gillingham, ME7 4PN

Search the QCC site for ‘Balmoral’ and there is no trace of the Gillingham surgery anywhere.

Is this service really set up to look after Medway residents?

Is it even able to provide a basic service?

If you have had an experience with this practice, good or bad, let us know by commenting below or use our contact form

Banjo Man receives Random Act of Kindness

This was a random act of kindness (RAK) from one busker to another. Firstly, here’s a bit of background about our local Banjo Man.

Banjo Man entertains Medway

Most people local to Gillingham and Chatham will have heard the slow finger-picking sound of who we affectionately call ‘Banjo Man’ strumming away in the high streets of Medway.

Many a time I’ve found myself wandering along with some ‘plinker plink’ finger-picking tune in my head. On a good day, you can see him in his full glory standing there like Elvis Presley in his black leather ’68 comeback special’ suit, banjo astride of him while he struts around drawing attention from all around. Mostly though, he’s sat in a doorway hoping for a little change from a sympathetic passer by.

The set doesn’t change much but he is very consistent, coming out to play in all weathers. We’ve even seen him out with the revellers in Rochester and always draws a crowd of people wanting a ‘selfie’ with the musician we all see so often around the Medway Towns.

Random act of kindness for Medway Banjo Man

The day this RAK happened was a Saturday (August 1st 2015) and I was sitting outside Costa Coffee in Gillingham High Street enjoying a large latte with my wife.

Across the road, outside the Nationwide was Banjo Man having a gentle strum on his banjo. He was standing when we first arrived but it was late in the afternoon so there were not that many people in the high street.

Another guy carrying an instrument walked past and was heading for the station. We overheard him saying that he was heading up to London to catch the partygoers and busk where the people are in abundance. For this article, we’ll call him ‘London Busker’.

When he noticed Banjo Man playing, he acknowledged him and they exchanged a few words. He then continued on his way. We thought it was nice to see him stop and share a few words and we continued to enjoy our coffee, content that there were still a few kind-hearted people in Medway. I jest 🙂

Random act of kindness for Medway Banjo Man
Random act of kindness for Medway Banjo Man

London Busker returns with a box

A few minutes later we saw the London Busker return and stop outside the Nationwide near where Banjo Man was sitting. He had a box of (what looked like) Magnum ice cream lollies. We were surprised to see him offer one to the Banjo Man and when he accepted, his face lit up and he looked to be thoroughly enjoying the gesture.

He then give the best gift of all – his time.

Going back to the beginning when we first saw the London Busker, I want to note that he was not meandering along taking in the sights on the way to the station. He was on a mission to catch a train to London to earn his living and was walking at quite a pace with his guitar strapped to his back and bag packed ready for the journey.

Not only did he give the Banjo Man an ice cream, he then chose to sit with him and share both his treats and his time. We observed them both chatting away and the joy he passed on was evident. Banjo Man was smiling and chatting along as if he was hanging out in the high street with his best pal – and just for that moment he was.

It was fantastic to see one human being extend such brotherly love for another human being with absolutely no personal gain whatsoever. He was there for at least 20 minutes, if not longer – and he seemed genuinely happy to be there.

It certainly restored our faith in humanity. I just had to get a picture and share this truly humbling experience. I’m grateful to have personally witnessed it.

Time costs nothing when it means that much to another person.

If you have any further information about Banjo Man or the London Busker and would like to share it with us, please contact us