MP James Heappey has his say on Burnham-on-Sea Medical Centre cutbacks

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 23 June 2017

The medical centre in Burnham will no longer offer certain blood tests.

The medical centre in Burnham will no longer offer certain blood tests.


Wells MP James Heappey says he ‘understands’ the anger residents feel, after it was revealed some blood tests would no longer be available at Burnham Medical Centre.

The medical centre, in Love Lane, will no longer be able to provide a full range of services for patients who are on the drug wafarin.

This drug is used to prevent blood clots and the centre used to provide a range of services, including initiating, stabilising and monitoring a patient’s blood through tests.

However, from July 1, these will no longer be available due to a struggle with recruitment.

Mr Heappey said: “Over the past few days, I’ve spoken to both the Burnham and Highbridge Medical Centres, the chief executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group and the chairman of Burnham Medical Centre’s Patient Group.

“While I am reassured to know that this is not a resource issue – the Burnham Medical Centre is handing back the money for the INR testing contract – I am disappointed that clinician recruitment issues have again led to the loss of an important medical service within our community.”

MORE: Read our interview with the Wells MP from earlier this year.

Mr Heappey has lobbyed the Government a number of times about the underfunding of Somerset’s health services but said he is assured there will be alternative options for the town’s patients.

He added: “The most important issue is the management of those patients who have required INR testing as a result of their use of Warfarin.

“The Highbridge Medical Centre assures me that they are able to take on patients wishing to transfer while the Burnham Medical Centre has explained that many of the 230 affected patients will be able to switch to a different anticoagulant which requires only an annual blood test. I understand the practice is speaking to all affected patients in order to review their treatment. It is hugely important that, in the meantime, existing patients do not stop taking their Warfarin.

“However, I understand the anger that patients will feel – especially those who are unable to switch medication because of other conditions. The Clinical Commissioning Group are looking at other ways to deliver the INR contract in the Burnham-on-Sea area and I will continue to work with local NHS leaders and the Government to find a solution to the problems we have on clinician recruitment in our county.

“I am sure that the Unite Union intended to invite me to their meeting in Burnham this evening and that it is a genuine oversight rather than politics that meant they didn’t get in touch. I know that they will know that the loss of the INR testing service in Burnham is not because of a lack of funds and so I look forward to working with them constructively to find a solution for patients in Burnham.”

MORE: Read more details about changes at Burnham Medical Centre here.

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