A GROUP formed after the amalgamation of three GP surgeries will be specifically targeted for action to improve its rating.
Ashton Medical Group, which consists of Chapel House as well as Bedford House and Glebe House, came rock bottom in the patients survey, with only just over half rating it as good.
Now Jessica Williams, director of commissioning at Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, has vowed to haul its rating up by working closely with it to iron out any problems.
And it has to be done quickly or people may desert it.
She said: “It’s one of our largest practices. They merged 18 months ago. There were problems with all three in terms of access. They didn’t score highly before and those have all come together.
“Bringing it together has been very challenging. It was the right thing to do strategically but it’s taking a lot of time to turn the curve.
“We’ve been in touch to ask Ashton Medical Group how do they feel the last three or four months have gone and they believe they’ve made significant improvements.
“That, however, is not enough to reassure us and we’re going to be doing some work with Health Watch in particular around the Ashton Medical Group patients to understand if there are specific difficulties that still haven’t been resolved.
“We need to really be motoring on that because people who experience difficulty getting through to their GP practice or making an appointment and are generally disappointed, the chances are they will vote with their feet and go elsewhere, either turn up at A and E or don’t access primary care at all.”
As well as Ashton Medical Group, Tameside CCG is likely to work with two surgeries in Droylsden which scored poorly.
And things need to be done sooner rather than later.
Jessica added: “It’s been bumping along the bottom for a while on these and we absolutely need to make sure we’re assured ourselves that Ashton Medical Group has turned the corner.
“If we’ve got a problem, and in some low scoring practices we know we have, we need to do some work now rather than waiting for another survey.
“That’s what we’re going to do, then spread it to other practices.”