Blood tests axed at Burnham-on-Sea medical centre after recruitment issues

Burnham and Berrow Medical Centre.

Burnham and Berrow Medical Centre. - Credit: Archant

A medical centre has been forced to scale back some of its services as it is struggling to recruit new GPs and nurses.

Somerset Clinical Commission Group (CCG), which plans and funds health services in the county, has confirmed there is one area of healthcare which will no longer be provided by Burnham and Berrow Medical Centre as a result of this challenge.

Patients who are on the drug warfarin, which prevents people getting blood clots, will no longer be able to receive full range of services they have done until now.

These include initiating, stabilising and regular monitoring of a patient’s blood through blood testing.

A statement from the practice, in Brent Road, read: “Burnham and Berrow Medical Centre will be ceasing to provide regular warfarin blood testing and monitoring for our patients with effect from July 1.

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“In common with many other practices, we have had extreme difficulties in recruiting new GPs and nurses to replace those who have retired in the past few years and, despite nationwide advertising, have been unable to attract sufficient new medical staff.”

Dr Mike Wolfman, senior partner, added: “We are extremely saddened to have to make this decision as a practice, but as warfarin monitoring is an additional service we have to concentrate our resources on providing essential general practice services and to hand back this enhanced service contract and the attached funding to the CCG.”

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The CCG has been looking for another healthcare organisation to provide this service, but has so far been unsuccessful.

A spokesman said: “Burnham and Berrow Medical Centre has provided these services to patients until now but will no longer be providing these services due to difficulty in recruiting new GPs and nurses to replace those who have retired.

“Somerset CCG has been looking for another healthcare organisation which is able to provide this service to patients from the centre and has explored a range of options. Unfortunately it has not been possible to find another organisation to provide warfarin monitoring services.

“This means patients will need to register with another GP practice which does provide the service.”

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