Question time for health partnership

Question time for health partnership

GP Ammonite

Six parishes are preparing a long list of concerns to present to the group that runs their GP surgery.
Ammonite Health Partnership has been running the Bridport Medical Practice, Beaminster’s Tunnel Road Surgery and Maiden Newton’s Tollerford Practice since May last year.
In the middle of the pandemic, and during summer weather patients put up with long waits outside to see doctors and get prescriptions, but over the winter have become fed up.
Now the partnership, which covers Beaminster, Toller Porcorum, Compton Valence, Cattistock and Maiden Newton and Evershot, faces some tough questions.
Di Padfield is coordinating the six parishes’ concerns – councillors from each area are set to meet for a second time on April 11 to share notes before a meeting with Ammonite.
Di said: “We are putting a spreadsheet together of all our concerns and copying in Chris Loder MP, the Care Quality Commission and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) so they are aware.”
The partnership says it receives more than 1,000 appointment requests a week for its 9.6 FTE GPs, and so it triages appointments to cope with demand. They say recruiting GPs has been exceptionally hard, but they continue to try.
David Ennals, who is attending the meetings on behalf of Toller parish, has pointed out the group is paid £155 per patient. Ammonite operates above the national average of 2,000 patients per GP, at 2,545 patients per GP – working out at nearly £400,000 per GP.
He said: “Representatives from six parish councils (Toller Porcorum, Maiden Newton, Frome Vauchurch, The Comptons, Frome Valley and Frampton) met on March 21.
“The concerns centred on the difficulty communicating with the surgery, especially with regard to obtaining a doctor’s appointment; the e-consult service; the erratic service provided by the pharmacy; concerns regarding the high staff turnover and number of vacancies, and that some Clinics have not been re-established after the pandemic.
“Our intention is not to criticise the surgery per se, we wholeheartedly want to work with them to help them see the shortcomings perceived in the community in order to improve their service, thereby aiding thousands of residents.”
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