About us

Creating a better healthcare system for south Somerset

The Symphony Programme is a partnership between GPs and hospital services to create high-quality, joined-up care.

We are one of NHS England’s vanguard sites, redesigning the way healthcare services are delivered and managed, to make them more accessible, efficient and effective.

We are responding to the evolving needs of the south Somerset population who have told us that the current system is too disjointed and too confusing.   In addition, rising patient numbers combined with the number of patients with growing complex long-term health needs puts  a strain on existing resources and services.

The Symphony Programme aims to improve the way we support and care for patients by creating a system and organisations in which health and care professionals and services work together to meet people’s needs.

We will reduce duplication, bureaucracy and delays and make it easier and quicker for patients to get the support they need to live healthy, independent lives.

Working together for patients – New Models of Care

The Symphony Programme is a collaboration between Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, south Somerset Healthcare GP Federation, Somerset CCG, Somerset Partnership, The voluntary sector in south Somerset (SSVCA) and Somerset County Council, all working together for the benefit of our shared population.

We are one of 50 new care model Vanguards that received funding under the NHS England Vanguard programme, in recognition of the innovation, scope and scale of our aspirations. It is hoped that the Symphony programme’s local successes will be replicated across the rest of the country.

We are working on designing a joint venture organisation between Yeovil Hospital and local GP practices which will hold a single budget for the population and decide how to use local resources to deliver the best outcomes for patients.

In developing new models of care, our Enhanced Primary Care model,  looks at new ways of bringing specialist services into the community and integrating care services together to make it easier for patients to access the ‘right care’, in the ‘right place’.  We are making great progress on developing and implementing new roles, such as Health Coaches who work with GPs to support patients and focus on prevention and education.  Our GP Extensivists provide the more personalised, specialist care for patients that need it the most through our complex care service, helping to avoid unnecessary admission to hospital, or reducing the length of a patient’s hospital stay.

The Operating Company – Symphony Healthcare Services Ltd

Symphony Healthcare Services is the operating company of the Symphony Programme, and a subsidiary of Yeovil Hospital. It was set up in April 2016 to enable local GP practices to integrate into a new organisation supported by the well-resourced infrastructure of Yeovil Hospital.

As part of Symphony Healthcare Services, practices have access to services such as finance, IT, estates, and human resources, making them more sustainable and better able to adapt to the changing and challenging NHS environment. The first practices integrated on 8 April 2016 and we are together, already taking positive steps towards creating a sustainable high quality healthcare service, with new GPs being recruited to previously difficult to fill posts.

All of these practices have also implemented the new models of care which is improving access to care, treatment and advice for patients with the greatest need.

Visits and Open Events

As an NHS vanguard site, we are continually developing and refining our model through feedback from patients, families and healthcare practitioners.  There are 50 other  vanguard sites across the country who are also looking to improve the way that  healthcare services can be delivered to communities in an efficient and sustainable way.  As one of nine PACS vanguards (integrating primary and acute care systems), an important part of the learning process is to share the developments, ideas and lessons learned in trying to change the way that we can offer our services.

If you are part of a team working as a vanguard site, or an NHS healthcare professional who would like to find out more about the work taking place in the Symphony Programme, we have a number of open events available where you can book a place.  Events will run from approximately 9 am – 1.00 pm.

Available dates are as follows:

Friday 27 October 2017

Thursday 25 January 2018

For clinicians and healthcare professionals
Find out more
For patients
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July
2012

The Symphony story, from idea to action

Summer 2012. “There must be a better way”. Conversations start with staff from across the system and international care models are researched. Soon the Symphony Project Board is formed and a launch event held.

August
2013

What’s the real cost of health and social care in south Somerset?

What’s the real cost of health and social care in south Somerset? The South West Commissioning Support Unit is asked to create an anonymised dataset to examine the activity and costs across the patch.

September
2013

Research

Research by the Centre for Health Economics at York University finds that just four per cent of the population – those with multiple and complex conditions – account for 50 per cent of health and social care spend. The Symphony Project team find that those with three or more conditions are most likely to benefit from an integrated care.

October
2013

Patient outcomes

75 patients with three or more conditions, carers and staff attend an event to share their experiences of the current system and their aspirations for change; less duplication and more co-ordination. A set of patient outcomes is developed.

December
2013

The complex care model is designed

December 2013 – June 2014: The complex care model is designed, based on delivering these outcomes.

July
2014

Development of Test and Learn pilots by Somerset CCG

July 2014–November 2014: Development of Test and Learn pilots by Somerset CCG to commission the new complex care model across Somerset.

December
2014

The Primary Care Collaboration Fund

The Primary Care Collaboration Fund (a national fund made available for primary care collaboration) awards South Somerset £200,000 to set up the first complex care hub.

March
2015

The first complex care hub is set up

The first complex care hub is set up in Yeovil District Hospital, with keyworkers and care co-ordinators and the first extensivist GP

March
2015

New care model vanguard sites

Symphony is chosen to be one of 29 new care model vanguard sites by NHS England, and awarded £4.9m funding.

April
2015

Programme Board

A Programme Board is established between primary care and Yeovil Hospital. The full programme is established.

April
2015

Health coaches

April 2015 – September 2015: Enhanced primary care design expands the range of support available in GP practices. The first five practices commence the new method of working as they appoint the new Health Coaches.

July
2015

Full model begins to operate

GPs join the complex care team and the full model begins to operate.

September
2015

Joint venture/operating company

September to December 2015: Design of joint venture to hold the single budget, and operating company to enable GP practices to integrate into a new organisation: Symphony Health Care Services.

March
2016

Further funding

One year after achieving vanguard status, a further £4.9m funding is secured from NHS England.

April
2016

First practices to integrate in to Symphony Healthcare Services

Buttercross and Ilchester GP practices and Yeovil Health Centre, become the first to integrate into the new operating company: Symphony Healthcare Services