November 1, 2016
Changes aim to deliver improvements at Highbridge Medical Centre

Highbridge Medical Centre is set to unveil a raft of improvements this winter in a bid to address the findings of a poor report by government inspectors.

The centre's GP service contract is set to pass to a separate NHS organisation, Symphony Health Care Services, at the end of November which will herald the start of a number of improvements for patients.

It follows a poor CQC inspection earlier this year which highlighted the centre's "inadequate" service, when it was placed into special measures, although no concerns over patient safety have been raised. Another report from CQC is due shortly.

Among the changes will be extra specialist staff being brought in alongside the current Highbridge doctors, to enable the centre to offer improved access to medical services.

"The changes we are making will make it easier for patients to access the practice's services by widening the range of specialist help available and providing more targeted care for patients," Dr Harvey Sampson, Practice Lead, told

"We recognise the practice has not been in a good shape, but the staff here are all motivated to improve the experience for patients. We are determined to turn things around."

He added: "New specialists will be brought in to work alongside our GPs over the next few months, helping us bring down waiting times."

"Another quick, visible improvement will be a change to the telephone answering system. We are aware of issues with long waiting on the line and it's a key part of our remedial plan."

He cautioned: "We cannot turn everything around overnight - we need breathing space and ask patients give the plan a chance to succeed."

As part of the change, a December open session is also set to be held at the centre alongside staff from Symphony for patients to hear more about the improvements and meet the new team. The Patient Participation Group will also be welcoming feedback.

Harvey added that the plans do not effect Burnham Medical Centre, which is managed separately.

Three other practices in Somerset are already run by Symphony in Ilchester, Somerton and Yeovil.

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