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Dr Bernie Marden, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Somerset, said:

“NHS Somerset has been working intensively with GP partners and the Burnham and Berrow practice team to address the significant problems that the CQC has identified. The practice has an action plan, agreed with us and the CQC, to make the required improvements as quickly as possible. We are meeting regularly with the practice to make sure the necessary changes are made.

“NHS Somerset has also taken contractual enforcement action to ensure that care for patients at the practice is safe and effective. Alongside this, a range of help has been offered to, and accepted by, the practice.

“In the short time this support has been in place we are seeing some improvements. A new system has been introduced to reduce the backlog of documents and correspondence, and a recall of patients with long term conditions requiring review has started. Those patients concerned are being contacted directly and asked to attend a consultation, blood test, or being offered a telephone review.

“We can assure patients that their safety is of paramount importance and patients should continue to contact the practice for their healthcare needs in the normal way. The practice team have worked hard over the past few months to introduce better processes to care for patients, but it will take time to make all the changes needed.”

All patients have recently received a letter about the challenges and developments at the practice. A helpline has been established to help patients who have any questions or concerns. The number is 0300 303 6409 and the line is open between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.