MP speaks out over medical centre changes
MP James Heappey has spoken out this week about a controversial
decision to withdraw vital Warfarin blood testing at the town's
medical centre due to a shortage of doctors and nurses.
we reported here, Burnham & Berrow Medical Centre has written
to 230 patients stating that it has "to concentrate resources
on providing essential general practice services" due to the
July 1st, the life-saving Warfarin blood testing and management
service is being withdrawn and patients have been advised to use
other medical centres instead.
Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Over the last few days, Ive
spoken to both the Burnham and Highbridge Medical Centres, the Chief
Executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chairman of
Burnham Medical Centres Patient Group. Whilst I am reassured
to know that this is not a resource issue the Burnham Medical
Centre is handing back the money for the INR testing contract
I am disappointed that clinician recruitment issues have again led
to the loss of an important medical service within our community."
most important issue is the management of those patients who have
required INR testing as a result of their use of Warfarin. The Highbridge
Medical Centre assures me that they are able to take on patients
wishing to transfer whilst the Burnham Medical Centre has explained
that many of the 230 affected patients will be able to switch to
a different anticoagulant which requires only an annual blood test.
I understand that the practice is speaking to all affected patients
in order to review their treatment. It is hugely important that,
in the meantime, existing patients do not stop taking their Warfarin."
I understand the anger that patients will feel especially
those who are unable to switch medication because of other conditions.
The Clinical Commissioning Group are looking at other ways to deliver
the INR contract in the Burnham-on-Sea area and I will continue
to work with local NHS leaders and the Government to find a solution
to the problems we have on clinician recruitment in our county."
am sure that the Unite Union intended to invite me to their meeting
in Burnham this evening and that it is a genuine oversight rather
than politics that meant they didnt get in touch. I know that
they will know that the loss of the INR testing service in Burnham
is not because of a lack of funds and so I look forward to working
with them constructively to find a solution for patients in Burnham."
it is important that local residents are not fooled by the press
release circulated by the union before their meeting tonight. Somersets
NHS Sustainability & Transformation Plan is not remotely secretive.
I was briefed on it months ago, so were the Patient Participation
Groups around the county and full copies have been available through
the Somerset Partnership NHS Trust, the Somerset County Council
and the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group from the moment it
was published. This vision for Somersets healthcare was written
by clinicians not politicians and is well worth reading.
You can read the STP and contribute to the consultation by visiting
the CCGs website: http://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/consultations-and-engagement/stp-plan/"