PRACTICE NEWS December 2020
To the patients of Creech Medical Centre
As many of you will know, your practice is currently one of four practices who are allied with Somerset Foundation Trust (formerly Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, now merged with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to form Somerset Foundation Trust).
For nearly two years, Somerset Foundation Trust has been in discussions with another NHS organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services, about how to share best practice and to learn from each other with the overall aim of supporting and enhancing primary care in Somerset. Symphony Healthcare Services is a wholly NHS organisation which currently runs 10 GP practices and has gained a lot of experience in managing and operating and recruiting into primary care, mainly in South Somerset.
Because of this recognised expertise, Somerset Foundation Trust (SFT) have asked Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS) to provide the management and operational support for the four practices currently within SFT. This support has started already at North Petherton surgery, and the intention is to roll this out to the remaining three surgeries.
The SHS team has already completed a series of practice visits, talking to the staff and outlining the levels of support, particularly around recruitment, that they can bring. Those visits also provided the opportunity to describe the joint aim of SHS and SFT to provide excellent and sustainable primary care, that feels responsive to local communities. We have also recently had a successful Zoom meeting with Patient Participation Group leaders from all the practices to further explain the joint working that has started, again outlining our hopes and aspirations for the future of all of these practices. It is our aim that each practice maintains its individuality and autonomy.
For you, as patients, we think this is a good news story. There are many challenges to be faced in primary care but we are confident that your practice will be stronger by SHS and SFT working together.
If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with either your PPG or your practice staff, who will be happy to further explain the enhanced support that Symphony Healthcare Services will bring to your practice over the coming months and years.
Dr Andrea Trill, Medical Director Neighbourhood Integration, SFT
Dr Harvey Sampson, Director of Strategy for SHS