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ALTERATIONS have been made at the Snodland Medical Practice to increase the availability of ap- pointments and reduce waiting times to see a doctor. Chris Bush, of the Patient Partic- ipation Group, said: "We have ap- pointed a full-time paramedic, Denise Collett, who will be able to see some of the urgent appoint- ment patients along with a duty doctor, freeing up other doctors to look after more complex and rou- tine cases." The new system started on Au-

gust 1 after the practice had taken feedback from patients via sur- veys and discussed them with the PPG.

Chris explained: “Same day ur-

gent requests for appointments will be put through a triage process, as is currently done, to determine the best way to deal with them – either by advice or a face-to-face consultation. This could be a doctor or paramedic. "Patients will be asked to make

same day urgent requests in the morning when there is increased clinical capacity in the system. There will be limited urgent serv-

ices in the afternoon for emergen- cies that happen later in the day. Afternoonswillbemainlyfor pre- booked appointments. "We will introduce catch-up time

for doctors in the middle of sur- gery to help them to not run late." Incoming phone lines have

been doubled for peak hours – 8.30 to 9.30am, 2 to 2.30pm. In peak hours, staff will only deal with same-day requests to achieve quicker turnover of calls. Patients with enquiries or look-

ing to book an appointment will be asked to call at other times. Online booking will be further expanded. Staff will receive intensive train-

ing in customer care to improve patient experience on the tele- phone lines and at the surgery. Clinicians and local pharmacists

will be encouraged to help pa- tients with minor illnesses to re- duce pressure on the demand for appointments. Chris added: “We hope this will

have a positive impact on patient experience of making an appoint- ment and reducing waiting times. We seek our patients’ cooperation in its smooth implementation.”

COUNCILLORS, colleagues and friends attended the retirement party of Snodland Town Council secretary Veronica Tipp, after 30 years.

Council chairman Peter Misy, thanked her andmade a presenta- tion, and Paul Hickmott, who was on the council when she joined, gave a speech. Veronica said: "Achieving 30

years is very impressive when Iwas initially only asked to help out for a

School fete boost for church

SNODLAND Church of England Primary School raised more than £1,500 for All Saints’ Church at its summer fayre. Head teacher Holley Hunt thanked parents for making cakes and donating bottles of wine. "We're looking forward to making this an annual event to raise

funds for the school," she said. She also urged people to buy the All Saints’ Church calendar showing old pictures of Snodland. They were on sale in the school office at £2. Fete guests Mickey and Minnie are pictured with Ava and Caitlin.

‘Temp’Veronica retires after 30 years with council

couple of weeks. I have loved the job and am very pleased I said yes when Carol Day asked me. “Carol sadly died earlier this year

and so can't be here to celebrate with me. However, I will be forever grateful to her for offering me the opportunity." She added that working for the council definitely offered new chal- lenges and was never boring. She spoke of her "partner in crime" HelenComber and thanked her for

Promotion for Snodland Town

SNODLAND Town Football Club will be playing this season at the highest level of football ever played in the town. Chairman, Mel Rayfield, said

Step 6 football has never been achieved by any club in Snod- land and if further promotion is secured it would mean automatic entry into the FA Cup preliminary rounds. “It is a prestigious and mo- mentous occasion for the town.” The first home game in the

Southern Counties East Football League First Division was due to be played at Potyns Sports Ground against SC Thames- mead on Saturday, August 13. The ground will shortly be fitted

with floodlights to enable kick- offs at 3pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays and the club will be able to play mid-week evening games. "To comply with league rules

and conditions a small entry price of £3 will be charged per

person per game," Mel added. "A match day programme can

be purchased in the ground and this will remain at £2. "These are very exciting times

for both the town and the club and we hope that many resi- dents will come along and sup- port the team in its endeavours this season." Home games will be posted on

the club's website and Facebook pages and on posters in shop windows around the town.

her support. Veronica spoke of her pride in developing the cemetery and the twinning with Moyeuvre- Grande which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. She added: "Snodland has seen

a lot of changes in the 30 years I have worked for the council. When I started there were 15 staff em- ployed with amuch smaller town to manage, today there are just seven and the town is double the size.”

Chess defeats

SNODLAND Chess Club is hop- ing for better fortunes in 2016-17 after a disappointing conclusion to last season. The club entered four Kent

Chess Association tournaments, failed to progress from the quali- fying stages in three and was eas- ily beaten in the first knock-out round of the En Passant Cup. The club re-opens after the summer break on September 1 and meets every week on Thurs- days from 7.30pm at the cricket pavilion, Rocfort Road. Informa- tion can be found at www.snod-

Local news for Snodland and Halling

A Downs Mail supplement produced in conjunction with the Snodland Chamber of Commerce.

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