Healthy start to life for staff and patients at Wiveliscombe's £2m Lister House Surgery

Outside the new surgery are, from left, lead dispenser Alison Davis, practice manager Emma Spiller, receptionists Helen Gouldson and Jackie McGovern, and Peter Berman, vice chairman of the patient group.

Outside the new surgery are, from left, lead dispenser Alison Davis, practice manager Emma Spiller, receptionists Helen Gouldson and Jackie McGovern, and Peter Berman, vice chairman of the patient group.

First published in News by

AFTER what felt like an eternity waiting for a new doctors' surgery in Wiveliscombe, life in a modern state-of-the-art facility has flown by for staff.

This week marks the six-month anniversary since the opening of the £2million surgery and reporter MICHAEL MARSH popped along to see how things were going.

STAFF at Wiveliscombe’s doctors’ surgery have had a positive start to life since their move in December.

The cramped Bollams Mead site was bursting at the seams, with staff working out of cupboards and hot-desking from room to room.

But life is much more comfortable at the £2million facility on Croft Way and bosses say they are now able to deal with their 6,800 patients more efficiently, plus cope with any expansion to the town with hundreds of homes planned.

Manager Emma Spiller said: “Patient numbers have remained static but we expected it to be like that for a number of months.

“However, we are in a better place to deal with them and have better conditions to do so. We have new fixings and staff are much better placed to work, unlike at the old site.

“To sum it up, we are delighted with the new premises and the facilities.

“Parking is easier and we have better disabled access, so in the future when the town grows or if we need to adapt to suit NHS policies we will be in a good position to do so.”

A new surgery has been in the pipeline for years – in 2005, the County Gazette reported how the existing surgery was too small and could not cope with the high demand of patients after the GP contract was introduced.

These days, patients are ‘enjoying’ their experience a lot more and are impressed with the new facilities.

Peter Berman, vice chairman of the patient group, said: “We are in the middle of collating views from patients and seeing what they like or don’t like about the experience at the new surgery.

“So far, feedback has generally been positive with many patients commenting on the waiting room and reception area.”

There are now dedicated receptionists to deal with visitors and others to deal with calls, meaning patients get undivided attention.

“It is much better for staff,” added Peter. “My wife used to be secretary at the old practice and when she came to have a look at this she was green with envy.”

Receptionist Helen Gouldson said: “Working conditions are fantastic now and even though patients are unwell, they are still happy coming into a much better building.”

The County Gazette took a tour of the building with MP Jeremy Browne in September, while construction work was still taking place, but this was the first visit since it was built.

Mr Browne has also visited the health centre and praised the modern facilities that patients in the area now enjoy.

He said: “Patients previously had very cramped and out-dated facilities when they went to see the doctor.

"The space was so limited that staff were sharing rooms and even working out of converted cupboards.

"I was very supportive of a new health centre being built in Wiveliscombe and I was impressed by the development when I visited it during the construction phase.

“It is great to see it is now fully up-and-running and providing excellent facilities. There are more consulting rooms, better facilities for staff, a bigger waiting room and more parking spaces.

“It is a great improvement and I am delighted that the town has benefitted from this substantial investment.”

Comments (1)

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12:51pm Mon 9 Jun 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

Privatisation destroying the NHS...

Wiveliscombe's £2m Lister House Surgery was built using borrowed money in the form of a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is the umbrella name given to a range of schemes that give the private sector a chance to make money from schools and hospitals. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was once the most common.

The key difference between PFI/PPP and normal ways of providing public services is that the public do not own the asset.

The council or health board make an annual payment to a private company who provide the building and associated services.

The public sector workers' trade union Unison and others have consistently warned of the dangers of involving the private sector in delivering public infrastructure through PPP/PFI deals.

They tend to be more expensive, inflexible, lack transparency and do not provide taxpayers with good value for money.

But the companies involved make millions.

PFI schemes cost much more than conventionally funded projects because governments can borrow money at much lower rates than private companies.

The Commons Treasury Committee found the capital cost of a typical PFI project is eight per cent – more than double that of government borrowing.

Audit Scotland have calculated these costs as adding £200,000 to £300,000 each year for every £10million invested.


In April 2011, the National Audit Office (NAO) urged the UK Government to find alternative ways of funding major projects because of the high costs of PFI.

They warned that the scheme had become increasingly expensive owing to the credit crisis.

And in August 2011, the Treasury Select Committee “found no convincing evidence that savings and efficiencies made during the lifetime of PFI projects could offset the higher cost of using private capital rather than government borrowing”.

Supporters of PFI argue that it transfers risks to the private sector and that makes PFI value for money.

However, that claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The National Audit Office have called the value for money calculation “pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo.” When public finances were growing, these additional costs could be masked.


Unlike other budgets, you can’t cut PFI payments – the contractors and the bankers always get their cash.

The current unelected coalition of ConDem millionaires and the past, so called 'Labour' government have all chased a financial illusion, the taxpayer is picking up the bill and big business is laughing all the way to the bailed out banks.

In their attempts to destroy the NHS the government has established local organisations under the guise of local accountability.

In reality these bodies are part and parcel of the privatisation and fragmentation agenda.

The most important are the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They exist in every locality, are responsible for spending about 80% of the national NHS budget, comprise of local GPs and commission most NHS services.

It is they that are responsible for outsourcing medical services to private providers.

For example in Bracknell, when the NHS Minor Injuries Unit closed at Heatherwood Hospital, it was the CCG that commissioned a private provider to replace it.

Sometimes there could be a clear conflict of interest with GPs both commissioning services and being themselves providers of private services.

Another body is the Healthwatch (HW), which is meant to be the local independent, health watchdog on behalf of patients.

It is neither independent nor democratic. It is funded by the government via the local authority, although the money is not ring-fenced.

HW is commissioned by the local authority although the latter is responsible for public health, a clear conflict of interest.

In Bracknell our HW is supportive of all the government's reforms, including privatisation of dementia services.

In fact they castigated campaigners for demonstrating against the privatisation. So we launched Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch, which is democratic, accountable and fights against NHS privatisation and calls for openness and transparency in the NHS.

We recently organised a survey asking people what they know about these bodies. Early indications are that most people have never heard about them, yet they are the organisations running the NHS at a local level.

Mobilising the trade unions nationally to fight the government privatisation of the NHS is vital, but it is also important to build local struggles.

Here in Bracknell we have built a united front against the government policies, involving trade unionists, pensioners, anti-cuts campaigners, political activists and patients.

We think that to defeat the government we must first understand their strategy. While the local NHS bosses do not like us they have learned to respect us, after all we obtained 25,000 names opposing closure of our local hospital and they were forced to back off.

The Socialist Party fights for:

*No cuts. Abolish the Health and Social Care Act which allows the further selling off of our NHS to private companies

*End big business profiteering from the NHS: Abandon the Private Finance Initiative which is bleeding the NHS dry

*End NHS job losses and low pay. No downbanding

*Nationalise the pharmaceutical and medical supply industries and all private health providers

*A fully publicly funded NHS, free for all at the point of use

*Democratic control and accountability of health services

*United action to defend the NHS - the TUC must name the day for a 24-hour general strike against austerity

*A new mass workers' party that fights for these demands. Support the
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (www.tusc.org.uk) as a step in this direction

*A socialist planned society that can genuinely meet and exceed the original aims of the NHS



Don't just get angry, get organised...

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Privatisation destroying the NHS... Wiveliscombe's £2m Lister House Surgery was built using borrowed money in the form of a Public Private Partnership (PPP). Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is the umbrella name given to a range of schemes that give the private sector a chance to make money from schools and hospitals. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was once the most common. The key difference between PFI/PPP and normal ways of providing public services is that the public do not own the asset. The council or health board make an annual payment to a private company who provide the building and associated services. The public sector workers' trade union Unison and others have consistently warned of the dangers of involving the private sector in delivering public infrastructure through PPP/PFI deals. They tend to be more expensive, inflexible, lack transparency and do not provide taxpayers with good value for money. But the companies involved make millions. PFI schemes cost much more than conventionally funded projects because governments can borrow money at much lower rates than private companies. The Commons Treasury Committee found the capital cost of a typical PFI project is eight per cent – more than double that of government borrowing. Audit Scotland have calculated these costs as adding £200,000 to £300,000 each year for every £10million invested. In April 2011, the National Audit Office (NAO) urged the UK Government to find alternative ways of funding major projects because of the high costs of PFI. They warned that the scheme had become increasingly expensive owing to the credit crisis. And in August 2011, the Treasury Select Committee “found no convincing evidence that savings and efficiencies made during the lifetime of PFI projects could offset the higher cost of using private capital rather than government borrowing”. Supporters of PFI argue that it transfers risks to the private sector and that makes PFI value for money. However, that claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The National Audit Office have called the value for money calculation “pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo.” When public finances were growing, these additional costs could be masked. Unlike other budgets, you can’t cut PFI payments – the contractors and the bankers always get their cash. The current unelected coalition of ConDem millionaires and the past, so called 'Labour' government have all chased a financial illusion, the taxpayer is picking up the bill and big business is laughing all the way to the bailed out banks. In their attempts to destroy the NHS the government has established local organisations under the guise of local accountability. In reality these bodies are part and parcel of the privatisation and fragmentation agenda. The most important are the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They exist in every locality, are responsible for spending about 80% of the national NHS budget, comprise of local GPs and commission most NHS services. It is they that are responsible for outsourcing medical services to private providers. For example in Bracknell, when the NHS Minor Injuries Unit closed at Heatherwood Hospital, it was the CCG that commissioned a private provider to replace it. Sometimes there could be a clear conflict of interest with GPs both commissioning services and being themselves providers of private services. Another body is the Healthwatch (HW), which is meant to be the local independent, health watchdog on behalf of patients. It is neither independent nor democratic. It is funded by the government via the local authority, although the money is not ring-fenced. HW is commissioned by the local authority although the latter is responsible for public health, a clear conflict of interest. In Bracknell our HW is supportive of all the government's reforms, including privatisation of dementia services. In fact they castigated campaigners for demonstrating against the privatisation. So we launched Bracknell Forest People's Healthwatch, which is democratic, accountable and fights against NHS privatisation and calls for openness and transparency in the NHS. We recently organised a survey asking people what they know about these bodies. Early indications are that most people have never heard about them, yet they are the organisations running the NHS at a local level. Mobilising the trade unions nationally to fight the government privatisation of the NHS is vital, but it is also important to build local struggles. Here in Bracknell we have built a united front against the government policies, involving trade unionists, pensioners, anti-cuts campaigners, political activists and patients. We think that to defeat the government we must first understand their strategy. While the local NHS bosses do not like us they have learned to respect us, after all we obtained 25,000 names opposing closure of our local hospital and they were forced to back off. The Socialist Party fights for: *No cuts. Abolish the Health and Social Care Act which allows the further selling off of our NHS to private companies *End big business profiteering from the NHS: Abandon the Private Finance Initiative which is bleeding the NHS dry *End NHS job losses and low pay. No downbanding *Nationalise the pharmaceutical and medical supply industries and all private health providers *A fully publicly funded NHS, free for all at the point of use *Democratic control and accountability of health services *United action to defend the NHS - the TUC must name the day for a 24-hour general strike against austerity *A new mass workers' party that fights for these demands. Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (www.tusc.org.uk) as a step in this direction *A socialist planned society that can genuinely meet and exceed the original aims of the NHS Don't just get angry, get organised... www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
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