Symphony Programme Scoops Three Primary Care Innovation Awards

pcia-logoPrimary Care Innovation celebrated with a triple accolade for the Symphony Programme..

Pioneering work in general practice has been recognised at the first-ever NHS England South West Primary Care Innovation Awards, with  ten winners in 14 categories, spanning an area that runs from South Gloucestershire to the Isles of Scilly.

All award winners were singled out for their progressive work to improve care and introduce new ways of working, in line with NHS England’s national blueprint, the General Practice Forward View. The winners were judged by a panel of primary care colleagues and other medical professionals.

The GPFV sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice at a time of rising workload and financial pressures.

The Symphony Programme won an outstanding three of the 14 award categories:
Primary Care Workforce Innovation – Successful changes of skill-mix or cross practice staffing models;
Primary Care Workforce Innovation – Best example of developing the role of unqualified staff working in primary care
Collaboration Award – Best example of win/win solution for patients achieved by joint work between general practice and an NHS      provider organisation


In particular judges positively highlighted how the Symphony Programme had;

  • Used its resources to improve support for patients and families with long term conditions, by beginning to shift resources from expensive acute care to primary care.
  • Focussed on prevention through avoiding admissions and the team-based approach across practices where different professionals operate as one unit; which will create a long term financial model for the health economy as a whole.

The Judges explained  “The Symphony Programme won on the variety of skill mix and team changes they have made that impact on a wide number of patients. We liked the way GPs and health coaches worked with other staff and met in huddles several times a week to pro actively discuss the patients they were most concerned about. The whole bid demonstrated a commitment to collaboration, trying of new ideas and joined up working across teams supporting some of the most vulnerable and complex patients in the practices.”

Jeremy Martin, Symphony Programme Director, said on receiving the awards: “We were really delighted to have been awarded these accolades. Our teams across the Symphony Programme and colleagues in primary care have worked very hard together, to introduce new models of care and start to change the way that patients access and receive high quality healthcare. Receiving not one, but three awards today is a real testament to the fantastic work that is taking place across south Somerset”

Mark Cooke, Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS England in the South West, said: “We’ve got some of the best primary care in the country, but even so we recognise that it’s not easy running a surgery. These awards are all about recognising the fantastic things that are being done across the South West to improve care for patients, whether behind the scenes or in the consulting room.”

Speaking at the awards, Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England’s Director of Primary Care, commented: “These awards have been a fantastic showcase on how the GPFV is being put into action in the South West. Great to spend such a positive morning with a room full of ‘can do’ people.”

The photograph shows (from left to right) Jeremy Martin, Symphony Programme Director, Dr Kathryn Patrick, Dr Steve Edgar and NHS England, Director of NHS Commissioning Ros Roughton.

The awards were held in Exeter on Friday 14 October.