Highbridge Medical Centre has this week re-opened its patient registration list after becoming the fourth GP practice in Somerset to join NHS healthcare organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services Ltd (SHS).

Since a CQC inspection last year, Highbridge Medical Centre teams have been working closely with Symphony Healthcare Services, NHS England and the CQC to make essential improvements and changes to the services offered at the centre during the integration process.

Regular progress checks against a detailed improvement plan have taken place over the last six months to reach a much improved service; which has resulted in the re-opening of the patient list and the minor operations and joint injections service.

Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS) Managing Director, Mandy Seymour-Hanbury told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are delighted that Highbridge Medical Centre has become the latest practice to join our organisation. Over the last few months, we have been able to offer extra support for the team at Highbridge to help recruit additional GPs and healthcare teams. Working together, we have been able to address some of the most important development areas as highlighted through the CQC and focus on improving the stability of services available at the medical centre.”

“Our aim is simple; to provide and maintain a high quality level of healthcare services for our patients and the local community and to be able to reassure our patients, clinicians and healthcare partners that improvements are being made.”

Interim Practice Manager; Sian Brammer and Interim Associate Medical Director; Dr Harvey Sampson, who is already well known to many patients as an experienced local GP, have been leading the developments at the medical centre with the support from SHS teams.

Dr Harvey Sampson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are thrilled that the practice will be part of a larger, supportive NHS organisation during such challenging times. We have an excellent and enthusiastic team at the practice who have already shown they are absolutely committed to improve and expand the service that we can offer our patients. We have a clear plan of action and have already made some excellent progress. We would like to thank our staff, patients and the local community for their support and patience as we make the necessary changes to develop a high quality and sustainable service for all.”

Highbridge Medical Centre as part of Symphony Healthcare Services will continue to work closely with both NHS England and the CQC to monitor and support developments at the Medical Centre. Regular progress updates will be shared with patients and the Patient Participation Group over the coming months.

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge MP James Heappey added: “I am pleased that Symphony Healthcare has completed the integration of Highbridge Medical Centre into its wider operation. Symphony stepped in when Highbridge Medical Centre was not meeting expected standards and it is pleasing to see the significant improvement that has been made since. The formal completion of the integration process is very welcome and will surely lead to further improvements for patients at the surgery.”

Linda Prosser, NHS England South West Director of Assurance and Delivery, said: “We are reassured that the practice will have Symphony Healthcare Services coming on board to help the practice make a turnaround from a difficult period. SHS have a proven track record of bringing about sustainable change and this will bring high quality and reliable services to the patients of Highbridge.”

Registered patients and the local community will be able to find out more about Symphony Healthcare Services at an Open Event, to be held at the Medical Centre on Thursday 20 April, between 11.30am and 1.00pm.

For any enquiries about appointments and the new services available at the medical centre, please call the usual phone number: 01278 783220. If you would like to register as a new patient, please call the centre, or visit the website; www.highbridgemc.co.uk