St Mary's Island surgery (five sites)

11 October 2021

Permanent contracts have been awarded for GP services at St Mary’s Island, known as five sites, from 1 November 2021.

Medway Practices Alliance (MPA) had a short-term contract to supply primary care services at St Mary’s Island (five sites) until September 2021 following action by the Care Quality Commission. This was extended by one month to allow for engagement and procurement to take place.

Permanent contracts have now been awarded to:

Medway Practices Alliance

  • Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre, Green Suite, Gillingham, ME7 4PN
  • Twydall clinic, Twydall Green, Gillingham, ME8 6JY
  • Sunlight surgery, Sunlight Centre, Gillingham, ME7 1LX

Maritime Health (formerly known as College Health)

  • St Mary’s Island surgery, Edgeway, St Mary's Island, Chatham, Kent, ME4 3EP
  • Pentagon surgery, Boots, 30-34 Military Road, Chatham,  Kent   ME4 4BB

Patients do not need to do anything. They will be automatically and securely transferred to their new practice on 1 November.

The only change will be getting in touch with your surgery from 1 November. From that date contact details are:

Medway Practices Alliance

Phone: 01634 890712


Maritime Health

Phone: 01634 557050


Repeat prescriptions

You should continue to order repeat prescriptions in the same way until 31 October.  From 1 November, you will need to contact the new practice (details above).

All patients will recieve a letter to confirm which practice they are aligned to in the week beginning 11 October 2021. 

(St Mary’s Island surgery, Green Suite at Balmoral Gardens Healthy Living Centre, Twydall clinic, the Pentagon Centre and the Sunlight Centre surgery.)

The organisation running your GP practice may have changed, but there is nothing you need to do.

This follows an assessment process, where permanent contracts have been put in place for all five sites starting from 1 November 2021.

All sites will remain open and will provide the full range of GP services. Each site was looked at separately.

Three sites- Green Suite at Balmoral Gardens, Twydall clinic and The Sunlight Centre surgery - will still be managed by Medway Practices Alliance (MPA), which has been doing so since August 2020. The surgeries will retain their names, but collectively be known as MPA Group Practices (MPA GP).

Two sites - St Mary’s Island and the Pentagon Centre - will now be managed by Maritime Health Partnership (formerly known as College Health).

Medway Practices Alliance (MPA) and Maritime Health Partnership were awarded permanent contracts after their applications assured us they would be able to maintain and improve patient experience. 

Patients told us access to appointments and getting through on the phone were important and we have been assured that both providers will prioritise these.

You also said having access to a local practice and consistency of care matters   – so we prioritised working with local practices and asked them for detailed workforce plans.

You don’t need to do anything. All records will be automatically and securely transferred to the new provider.


The only change for you is in how you contact the practice from 1 November 2021. The new contact details are:

Medway Practices Alliance           01634 890712


Maritime Health                             01634 557050



We awarded a 12-month emergency contract to Medway Practices Alliance (MPA) to run the five GP sites following action by the Care Quality Commission in July 2020. 

This was to allow us the time to engage with patients and arrange permanent contracts for these sites.

Each contract was looked at individually. Providers submitted their applications for each site. A full and comprehensive assessment process was carried out, with organisations able to apply to run each contract.

This comprehensive assessment process included a panel of patients who helped score applications.

Maritime Health is the new name for the partners of Halfway Surgery and St Mary’s Medical Centre. They were formally known as College Health but the name has been changed to reflect the area the practices serve.  They already run The Halfway surgery and St Mary’s Medical Centre.

Every organisation that applied had to give a detailed explanation of how they would be able to run a contract and improve services in the future.

We will be monitoring those plans and how they are put in place to make sure patients are receiving the care they expect.

We wrote to 27,500 patients in September 2020 asking them to complete a survey. We then held two virtual listening events in December, as well as small focus groups and asked for views from patient participation groups. 


In April, patients were written to with an update and we asked for volunteers to be involved in the procurement exercise. A total of 18 patients came forward and around 10 of those were on the panel, which scored applications.

The main things patients told us they valued during the engagement were:

  • being able to access a surgery close to their home and with  consistency of care
  • securing an appointment in a reasonable time -  where they can get through on the phone and staff are courteous, kind and discreet
  • being seen by a regular GP, healthcare practitioner or group of permanent GPs.


When asked about GP practices working, together, nearly two thirds of people, who took part in the survey, said they would sometimes go to a different practice to get a quicker or more convenient appointment or that they didn’t mind which GP practice they use. However, people told us they were concerned about those with mobility issues, or who could not afford to drive or take public transport.

These priorities were used to inform the assessment process practices had to answer in their applications.


If you are not happy with the practice you have been assigned, you are able to change to another as long as they are accepting new patients and you live within the practice boundary. Please do not make this change until after 1 November 2021.

Until 31 October, you should continue to order your prescriptions in the same way.  From 1 November, you will need to do this via your new surgery.

An emergency extension to the contract was approved until 31 October 2021 to enable us to complete the process.

All patients who live in the same household have been transferred together, so you will still be registered at the same practice as your family members/children.

You can continue to contact your usual surgery in the normal way until 31 October 2021. From 1 November, please use the new contact details detailed in your letter and in these FAQs.

After 1 November you will no longer be able to access these prescriptions, and they will be cancelled.  Please make sure you have adequate medication to last until you are able to secure a prescription from your new practice, or speak to your community pharmacy to see if they are able to offer a double prescription.

Your current practice is aware of the need to issue patients with adequate length of prescriptions prior to 1 November to see patients into the new arrangements. 

After the 1 November your new practice will re-assess your medication, and set you back up on a batch prescription, as appropriate.

You can continue to contact your current surgery in the normal way until 31 October 2021. From 1 November, please use the new contact details. If you have a medical emergency, please call 999.

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