Warders Medical Centre

47 East St, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1LA |The Surgery, Village Hall, Penshurst, Kent TN11 8BP
Tel: 01732 770088 | Fax: 01732 770033


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Warders Newsletter Summer 2016





Staff changes


Dr Joanna Pearson will be leaving us at the end of July, to enjoy a well deserved retirement.   There will be books placed at reception for anyone who would like to write their farewells to Dr Pearson.

We are very pleased to say that we have a new partner starting on 1st September, Dr. Jessica Martin. Dr. Martin will be working 7 sessions per week and will be taking over Dr. Pearson’s patient list.

Our practice manager, Susan Senecal, will be retiring shortly due to ill health after 9 years at the practice. Susan has loved her time at Warders and will be very sad to go. We have recruited a new practice manager, Wendy Fenn, who joins us from a private company.

As many of you already know, Warders is a GP training practice. Our GP Registrars starting in August are Dr Charlotte Marks, working with Dr Alton, Dr Mike Blyth working with Dr Moore, and Dr Adel Ghaffar working with Dr Claxton. Dr Hannah Weston will be returning from maternity leave and working with Dr. Morris.



Warders Patient Participation Group


Since 2011 the practice has been supported by its Patient Participation Group. The group has organised meetings to inform patients on subjects including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, invited the Accountable Officer of the CCG to meet with patients, and organised a coffee morning for new mums. The PPG have their own page in the newsletter – please take a look to see what they are doing on your behalf.


Warders Bi-centenary







2015 marked our 200th anniversary. Very few medical practices can trace their history back very far, but largely through the work of one of our former doctors, Dr John Ford, we have been able to research ours back to its very beginning in 1815. What is really remarkable is that we have been doing essentially the same job based in the same part of the town continuously ever since then. Are there any other organisations or businesses that can claim this locally?

The story is a fascinating one reflecting changes in society, medical science and the structure of medical services over this time. Our website has a history section detailing much of our history for anyone who is interested.



Car Park

 Parking at our Tonbridge surgery is limited and for your use only for the duration of your appointment. Alternative parking is available off Bordyke and at Tonbridge Castle.

We do not have parking facilities at Penshurst Surgery. Please  park outside the village hall or along the road.



Article for Warders Newsletter by Nurse Debbie

Debbie and Connie







In February this year I visited Uganda for the third time with a team from Tonbridge Baptist Church (TBC) which included Connie Burgess, a past practice manager at Warders. We have been working alongside World Shine Mission since 2014 to improve the facilities in a primary school in an impoverished, rural area of Uganda called Rwentobo.  The school cares for over 700 children, many of whom are at risk or orphaned and therefore board at the school.  The maternal and under five death rate in this densely populated community is very high (for every 1,000 children born at least 60 die before the age of five years). This is largely because the area lacks even basic health care provision and the people cannot afford to travel to the nearest hospitals which are about an hour’s drive away. For this reason, members of TBC had raised some funds towards a community clinic so one of our main goals was to ensure that the building costs were priced fairly before the foundations were dug.  Thanks to a quantity surveyor on our team, who calculated the cost to the last brick, a fair price was agreed and building commenced with Connie and I helping to break the ground.

We also visited the highly-respected Kisiizi Mission Hospital which is located high in the hills above Rwentobo.  This was the highlight of the trip for me as I was so impressed with the quality of care provided in such a remote location. It is run by a British paediatrician and his wife and has medical, surgical, maternity, paediatrics and even mental health departments. Connie and I stayed overnight and I was able to provide some teaching on diabetes management to the dedicated staff.  To our delight, Dr Spilman and his team agreed to support the clinic by providing oversight for the construction phase and then visits from the medical and midwifery team when the clinic is completed. Also, thanks to a very low cost health insurance scheme which Kissizi offer, people in Rwentobo will have access to care at the hospital when necessary.

The clinic will provide daily care for the school children as well as health education and clinics for the community, including ante-natal and post-natal care, immunisations, diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases and treatment for minor injuries.  Building is progressing well but more money is required to complete and equip it so I have set up a fund-raising page. https://my.give.net/Rwentobocommunityclinic  Any donations, however small, will bring this dream nearer to completion so that lives can be saved.



Protected Learning Time 2016

We have 6 afternoons each year when the practice is closed to ensure that our team get the essential training and development they need to deliver the best possible service. Programmes for these events are co-ordinated by the local Clinical Commissioning Group. The next closure afternoon will be on Tuesday 13th September 2016.

If you need to see a doctor urgently during this time, the out of hours service will be operational while the surgery is closed, and can be contacted by dialling 111. NHS 111 is free to call from both mobile and landline telephones. This also applies when the practice is closed for Bank Holidays.



Patient participation group page


The Government, the NHS, and the Royal College of General Practitioners encourage the setting up of Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) to provide a communication channel between patients and General Practices.  The Warders PPG has been in existence for five years and has a proud record of achievement, organising health awareness meetings and applying pressure for improved NHS services in Tonbridge.

Looking back at the purposes for which the PPG was set up, and the contribution PPGs are being asked to make by doctors through the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG), we find that we fall short of some of their aspirations.  The vision of the CCG is that PPGs:

  • contribute to continuous improvement of services;
  • foster improved communication between the practice and its patients;
  • help patients to take more responsibility for their health; and
  • provide practical support and help to implement change.

Warders is a remarkably well run Practice.  We have problems parking and there is no doubt that even with opening hours from 8.00am to 7.30pm, there will be some who would like to be able to use the surgeries at other hours – though survey information shows that this is not the strong view of a large number of patients.  But what more could the surgery do to accommodate the needs of patients?  How will Warders’ services be affected by the ever increasing need to ‘do more with limited resources’?  And how will these services be developed as a result of changes in services driven by the CCG?

Further, health services in West Kent are going to change radically in the next few years.  The Clinical Commissioning Group is bound to consult patients before they make changes. In January and February alone, we have been asked to help, comment and encourage patients to comment on urgent care strategy, equality of access, children and young people’s provision, NHS wheelchair services and cancer tests, and GP appraisal and revalidation.

Except where individual committee members or their relatives have had relevant personal experience, we have not been able to help.  Why?  Because we have no way to contact patients direct.  In the past we have sought by posters, handouts and leaflets in the surgeries to encourage fellow patients to give us their e-mail addresses.  But for whatever reason the response has not been good.

The PPG cannot function without a more effective means of communication with patients.  So, if you are concerned about the future of the NHS in Tonbridge, please let us have your e-mail address.  Contact us at ‘[email protected]’.

If you do so , we will communicate with you on matters that we think are important in relation to Warders, West Kent NHS and the working of the PPG.  We will not expect you to comment on things that you think are outside the experience of you or those for whom you care.  We will do all we can to keep your e-mail address confidential and will not give it to third parties.

The Warders PPG’s e-mail contact list on which your e-mail address is included has been developed to facilitate the exchange of information between the PPG and individual patients.  Medical advice will NOT be provided and medical questions cannot be answered.  Electronic transmission of data via this email link may not be totally secure. All links from this website are provided for information and convenience only. We cannot accept responsibility for sites linked to, or the information found there. A link does not imply an endorsement of a site.  If you would like to unsubscribe from this distribution list, please email [email protected] with the subject header “Unsubscribe”.

Warders PPG AGM 27th May 2016

The Annual General Meeting of the Patient Participation Group (PPG) was held on 27th May at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Tonbridge. We were pleased to see some of our patients attend. During the initial business of the meeting, we acknowledged the retirement of Susan Bevan as Secretary of the PPG – we are very grateful for all of the hard work that she has put in to the success of the PPG. David Rust will be taking over as the new Secretary.

Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, gave a very interesting talk at the meeting.  The CCG is responsible for healthcare services in our part of Kent (for more details see their web site) in co-ordination with hospitals and local authorities.  Dr Bowes explained that in the face of demand rising by 5 per cent a year, the West Kent system has to save £30million, 5 per cent, of its budget this year.  Some £5m of savings will be found in the hospitals.  There will also be a shift to create better co-operation between the different providers, emphasising prevention and self-care, and increase the capacity and capability of out of hospital ‘ambulatory’ care.

The NHS and social care provided by local authorities and the voluntary sector will be better joined-up through multidisciplinary working; health and social care coordinators, community nurses, complex care nurses.  Doctors and consultants will be more closely linked to avoid unnecessary hospital visits.  There will be integrated out of hours GP, nursing and social care.

The CCG will be working hard to try and make the necessary savings in order to balance our annual health care budget. They will be consulting with patients through PPGs on some of these changes to our local health care.  This way we can help to make sure the system is ‘patient friendly’.  It seems that those most likely to be affected by these changes are those whose health and welfare depends on a mix of medical and social support.  If that is you or someone you care for, do think about contacting the PPG at ‘[email protected]’.

Dr Ravi Jumnoodoo also spoke to the meeting about developments at the practice, and thanked the PPG for all of their work on behalf of the partners. The meeting closed after a very successful and interesting evening.

I / We would like to be registered on the Patient Participation Group database to receive newsletters and other information directly.




Email address……………………………………………………


Please hand this to reception, who will pass it on to the PPG