Preferred Bidder For Health Centre Announced

St Mary’s Health Centre

The NHS for Cornwall and Scilly has selected a preferred provider of medical, pharmacy and optometry services in Scilly.

The 5-year contract to operate the Health Centre will stay with Dr Davies and Partners who also run the Helston Medical Centre and have operated the Scilly practice for the past year on an interim basis.

They now just have to sort out the finer details of the contract.

Bridget Sampson, director of primary care for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT, says islanders will be offered an improve range of services comparable to those that mainland residents can access.

Bridget says part of the contract will require the introduction of a regular optometry service here on the islands. Patients’ group LINk4Scilly has championed the need for more convenient eye checks.

There’ll also be enhanced pharmacy services. Under proposed improvements, visitors and islanders who run out of medicines will be able to order and pick up new supplies.

From Radio Scilly

Robert Boyce and Bridget Sampson talk to Radio Scilly

A single provider responsible for all three services is a novel solution that fits Scilly’s unique situation, says Bridget, and this model may be rolled out in Cornwall in the future if it proves a success here.

She says there was a great deal of interest in the islands’ health services contract with around fifteen providers bidding for the different elements of the service.

Practice manager, Robert Boyce says there’ll be some reorganisation of the Health Centre, including changes to the building to incorporate the new pharmacy services and optometry equipment, which will remain on the islands permanently.

He says there’ll be no job losses as part of the contract, but they will advertise for a new GP. The practice is trying to recruit a female doctor, a role that is currently being covered by locums from the mainland.

Lead GP for Scilly, John Garman, said: “Since we took on the interim general practice contract last year, we have worked hard to improve the services provided to the residents and visitors to the Islands. The new contract enables us to extend the scope of services to the benefit of all, as well as ensure the stability and continuity of the existing Health Centre.

“Dr Davies & Partners are committed to delivering quality patient care and service excellence and, on a personal note, I am very pleased to be able to stay on the Isles of Scilly and remain as lead GP.”

Bridget said there are still further negotiations to complete before the contract is awarded but it’s a significant step forward in achieving improved primary care services on the Scillies.


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