September 3, 2017
MP praises Highbridge Medical Centre after upbeat health care report

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's MP has praised the team at Highbridge Medical Centre after a new report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted the many improvements that have been made to its healthcare services.

Highbridge Medical Centre was previously placed in 'special measures' last year after receiving two "inadequate" ratings during 2015 and 2016 under a previous provider, but in April this year Highbridge Medical Centre integrated with Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS), a new NHS primary healthcare organisation.

The new inspection report concluded the practice is "good" in three out of five areas, delivering a well–led, caring and responsive healthcare service, but requires more improvement under the 'safe and effective service' areas.

Staff at the centre gathered with patients and members of its Patient Participation Group on Friday evening (September 1st) to recognise the success.

MP James Heappey, pictured with the group, told "It was great to join staff and patients at Highbridge Medical Centre to acknowledge the huge amount of work that has been done on improving the practice over the last twelve months. The CQC have rightly recognised the huge progress that has been made in their recent report."

"Speaking to the Patient Participation Group, medical centre staff and the leadership at Symphony, it was striking to hear how closely they are all working together to deliver not just the improvements needed by the CQC but how much more they want to do beyond. I congratulate them all on the progress to date and look forward to seeing what more they can achieve."

Stan Howlett, Chair of the Patient Participation Group at the medical centre, told "As a patient, I am already impressed with the way everyone at the practice has been embracing a different way of working and delivering a better experience to the patients; from initial contact with the reception staff to the care received by doctors and healthcare teams. I really think it’s a much happier place to visit, with a cleaner, smarter, looking environment."

Dr Harvey Sampson, Associate Medical Director and Clinical Lead at the medical centre agreed with the report's findings. He told "We are delighted that the recent inspection has highlighted the huge progress that has already been made at the practice; through the hard work and enthusiasm of the teams here in Highbridge and with the support of our central team. However, we also recognise that there is continuing hard work to be done in order to develop and sustain the services for the future."

"I would also like to thank the community, our patients and our Patient Participation Group for their ongoing support and feedback, helping us to develop and make improvements to our services."

The centre's medical team have also been praised by the CQC for their commitment and enthusiasm in making positive improvements to patient services. Inspection teams also noted the positive feedback received from patients and a dramatic change in leadership from the central support team from Symphony Healthcare Services.

Over the past few months there have also been some very positive changes to Highbridge Medical Centre building, after a Minor Improvement Grant provided by NHS England was approved.

This grant has enabled much needed improvements to be made to the facilities at the centre including the refurbishment of toilets, entrance hall and waiting area - with new flooring and seating being installed, as pictured here.

Dr Berge Balian, Medical Director for Symphony Healthcare Services, added: "We are happy with the outcome of the CQC report and whilst the overall rating is 'requires improvement' we are very pleased that three out of five areas have been rated as ‘good’ showing the significant progress that has been made in only a few months."

"We are very proud of our team at Highbridge who have worked extremely hard to make essential improvements to our service for patients and we will continue to develop our healthcare teams along with new ways of delivering healthcare services for patients."

If you would like to know more about Highbridge Medical Centre, arrange a visit, or to register as a new patient please call 01278 783220, or visit


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