The Sunlight Centre, Gillingham. A practice of unprofessionalism.

Let us start.

“Sunshine and sunlight are synonymous, but still subtly different. Sunshine generally refers to the illumination outside on a sunny day, particularly the visible light, and has strong positive emotional connotations. "He's a regular ray of sunshine" is a way of describing an infectiously happy person.”

And also…

“General practitioners (GPs) treat allcommon medical conditions and referpatients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. They focus on the health of the whole personcombining physical, psychological and social aspects of care.”

Now with that in mind, let’s have a look.

The Sunlight Centre in Gillingham, well what more can I say, read the reviews yourself, or take the time to read my experiences with this establishment.

I have health conditions so need to use a GP. After moving from North Wales to the similarly sumptuous Gillingham I was simply unable to afford the monthly 252-mile commute back to my normal GP. This unfortunately meant straining the radiant Sunlight centre, but low and behold, they eventually found it in their good pure hearts to accept a patient.

A damning process to say the least.

September 2018

To move GPs, and I can’t believe this myself, they actually had to email my previous surgery. After a month of hearing nothing, still without any medication, and O2 mysteriously ending our calls, I decided to relieve them of this onerous task and sort the correspondence between GP’s myself. 

Only another 2 months later I was finally officially under the astonishing care of the renowned Sunlight Centre. I wiped the tears away and made my way to the surgery, every step I took filling me with a brewing optimism of receiving expert help from these self-proclaimed rays of sunshine.

I queued for a mere 45-minutes, knowing the wait would be worthwhile. As I made my way to the desk, the other receptionist on shift slowly looked up from her copy of heat. I turned scarlet with shame. How dare I go 3-months without my medication and have the audacity to interrupt this good gentle soul’s break time.

As she meandered towards me, I prayed all would be forgiven.

“YES?!” She sang.

“Hi, I believe we’ve spoke on the phone a few times, my names Matthew Evans, it’s been a few months now I’ve gone without any medication, I think I’m now with this surgery so I was wondering if I could get a prescription, or a consultation with a new doctor?”. 

“Well I’m not a doctor am I? You’ll have to call up to make an appointment, I can’t just hand out prescriptions”.

Of course, you utter fool Matthew, you’d only rang them THREE times a day for the past 90 days.

I left abruptly, and so began the first of many interesting experiences with the Sunlight Centre.

They have lost my records twice and given me appointments countless times, to then only cancel. The staff I see at Student Support with the University have also hit multiple brick walls when trying to sort anything out through them for myself, resulting in numerous incidents that could have been avoided if I’d only been given my prescription. 

The doctors I eventually were allowed to see were quite the characters themselves, devoid of all emotion or understanding. One actually called me an “idiot” for asking to increase my dosage, one pulled up other people’s records in front of me after forgetting my name, and one referred me on before my arse had touched the seat.

A reminder:

“Focus on the health of the whole personcombining physical, psychological and social aspects of care.”

I did actually get on with one Doctor, but he left the surgery after a week.

It seems incomprehensible to me how a surgery such as this is still in operation. There is a demand of course, a community needs a GP regardless of its run, which I assume is the exact reason the staff act with such indignity and practice such unprofessionalism. Even now, 2 years since that first experience, it’s still hard to pick up a prescription, they lose forms easier than a banker in 2009 with the police knocking at his door.

You may disagree, and these experiences belong to only me, to which I respond, I don’t care, they are awful.

Just thought I’d take a look at some online reviews, perhaps I am wrong:

1 Star:

"Getting an app can easily take an hour. Test results can be missed. Further tests cannot actually be ordered. A succession of locums ensures no continuity of care or interest."

Oh, this person feels the same, how strange.

1 Star:

"I added one star just because I could not use a sub-zero rating. Completely unprofessional practice. I recommend to consider other options in the area, it cannot be worse than this one, for sure!"

5 stars to you sir, I concur.

1 Star:

"Needs to be clear online that it is not a walk-in clinic and that they haven’t been a walk-in clinic for two years and it takes two weeks to register, and if you’re looking for an emergency appointment, they just direct you to the hospital."

2 weeks?! You lucky sod.

Overall, they’ve managed a 1.8 review out of 41 reviews, which I honestly think they should frame, that’s insanely high for them.

They now operate a one doctor one nurse policy, which astounds me. As the corona virus sweeps through Britain, I have now moved back to North Wales, and am still due my monthly prescription. Presumably those doctors and nurses will surely…I mean that doctor and nurse will surely be rushed off their feet, yet I doubt with their level of competence they’re even aware of the epidemic.

GP’s like this should be fined, closed, and reopened. It’s beyond a joke.

I find myself in an awkward position, I need my prescription, by god I need it. Without it I dare not think how this isolation will unfold. I called the surgery last week to ask for a posted prescription, the woman on the phone told me to email and then promptly hung up. I did all I could do and emailed, now surprisingly I’m still yet to receive a response, I wonder if I will before August. 

I’m by no means the only person to have been treated in such manner and will by no means be the last. I hope I get the prescription, I really do, however optimism is but a distant memory with this surgery.

The Sunlight Centre, Gillingham. Wake up.

11/04/20 UPDATE:

I rang the day after this blog post, a new receptionist asked for the address of my chemist. I gave her the address, she said everything will be sent over. Today, the chemist has had no correspondence with The Sunlight Centre. I am now without medication as they're closed on weekends and bank holiday. 5/5 would recommend.





The "Sunlight" Centre