Dear Exmoor Medical Centre Community,
I am writing to keep you all updated with regard to the recent decisions taken by Kathryn Kyle (Practice Manager Executive Partner) and myself.
As many of you may be aware, both locally and nationally GP surgeries are struggling to recruit GPs – there are simply not enough to go around. Kathryn and I have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to try to recruit an additional GP to complement our team (Dr Peter Byass, Dr Michelle Colley and myself) to improve continuity of care and sustainability for the practice. Despite all of our efforts, we have not been successful in appointing another GP. Therefore, the pressures that I have personally had to face over the past year have been extremely high.
I am sure many of you will realise that, with not enough GPs on the ground, it is very difficult to continue to meet the high quality care that we continually strive to give and pride ourselves upon. We also currently face even higher pressures now that Dr Peter Byass is moving onto a new job more local to him in North Devon. So in order to ensure sustainability for the practice, we have had to look at alternative options from our current partnership model.
Based on the above, Kathryn and I have jointly made the decision to integrate into a larger organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS), to give us greater resilience and secure the future of the practice.
In April 2016, SHS was established after three GP practices approached Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust directly for help. Ilchester Surgery, Yeovil Health Centre and Buttercross Health Centre in Somerton were the first practices to integrate into SHS. Like many GP practices, they had been struggling to manage the operational and financial pressures on the surgery; with difficulties in recruiting permanent GPs, rising costs, growing patient numbers and demand, along with increasingly complex healthcare needs. SHS now supports nine surgeries within Somerset and by joining together SHS aims to help practices meet the current and future challenges within primary care by providing a sustainable, high quality healthcare service for patients.
Although Kathryn and I have jointly agreed that joining SHS is the right decision for patients, the practice and its staff, Kathryn has made the decision to move on to pastures new after 13 years at the surgery, as much of the finance and HR work will be managed by SHS centrally. Kathryn has seen the practice through some extraordinary changes and challenges with the most impressive, innovative and charismatic approach, and is committed to seeing the practice through the integration process. Whilst this is incredibly sad news given Kathryn’s absolute dedication and commitment to the practice, we have no doubt that Kathryn will continue to make a real difference in whatever she chooses to do. Our current Assistant Practice Manager, Lindsay Smith, will step into the day to day management role which will remain much the same.
It is undoubtedly going to be a time of change as we move through 2020. However, I will continue as the Clinical Lead GP and GP Trainer for the practice alongside Dr Michelle Colley. I am very committed to the Exmoor Medical Centre community; having first worked within the practice as a receptionist in 2005 during the summers whilst I was at University. The relationships I have developed with patients and staff are of utmost importance to me and I am driven to not only continue to deliver the best possible care for you at the practice, but also to be on the frontier of new and innovative ways of working. I am confident that SHS will help support the team and I to do this.
The good news for our patients is that these changes behind the scenes should not disrupt the usual day-to-day running of the practice and although GPs will undoubtedly remain scarce, the additional infrastructure and support provided by SHS will allow the team and I to focus on you and your healthcare needs.
I feel confident that SHS is the right decision for Exmoor Medical Centre and I hope that you will be as supportive of SHS as we are.
SHS and Exmoor Medical Centre will look to host an open event for interested patients following integration to share key information, meet the team and will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Further information regarding this will be announced shortly.
With kind regards,
Dr Kelsey Boddington
Exmoor Medical Centre