People get involved and feedback their views on health and care services in all sorts of ways. In this section we'll report back on what decisions were made as a result of your involvement.


GP & Nurse services in the evening, weekends and via email, phone, video links

Plans to offer access to telephone, email and video appointments with GPs and nurses in the evenings and over the weekends will be in place by the autumn with seven out of ten people who fed back saying they would use these online or telephone services.

The plans, under the banner I HEART Barnsley, will also see additional, bookable appointments available provided from two locations across the borough. The site of these locations was approved following a period of public engagement and the summary report detailing the feedback from this can be accessed via the link below. 

I HEART Barnsley PPE Executive Summary Report 

Four GP practices submitted an application to host the services from their buildings and two were chosen based on a range of factors including public feedback, affordability and suitability of the premises.

The new services will operate out of the Woodland Drive Medical Centre near the Kingstone, Pogmoor area and the Chapelfield Medical Centre in Wombwell and will be open to anyone who is registered with a GP in Barnsley.

Healthwatch Barnsley were part of the application panel. Carrianne Stones, Healthwatch Barnsley manager said: “Access to GP services is something people often talk to us about. As an independent organisation representing the views of patients, we were pleased to be part of this process. We will continue to work with local people to ensure that these new services are making a difference.”

Chris Millington, lay member for patient and public engagement at NHS Barnsley CCG said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us as patients in Barnsley. This is going to be something that we haven’t seen before in Barnsley, so I really hope people will make use of it. You’ll still be able to visit your usual GP but for those times when they’re fully booked or if an email or video appointment is more convenient for you, then this service will be there’.

The new services will start at the end of September with the appointments being available at the two locations and over the telephone. The email and video services will follow later into the autumn.

We would like to thank everyone who took the opportunity to provide their feedback as part of this process and our local partners who helped promote the engagement period across their networks.

More info:

  • These services are being funded following a successful bid by the Barnsley Healthcare Federation to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.
  • All appointments will need to be booked, just as they would be with your own GP or practice nurse.
  • People will not need to or be able to register with these new services. They will be open to anybody registered with a Barnsley GP.
  • The services will be run by a new team of GPs and Nurses and will operate separately to the practices who occupy the buildings.
  • The services will be additional GP and nurse time for Barnsley patients.
  • These services will be a 12 month scheme and will be evaluated to make sure they are making the best use of resources and improve services for Barnsley people.

Common eye conditions

We made proposals to change the way people could access assessments and care for minor, common eye conditions. In the existing system people went to see their GP who would then often refer them on to a specialist team at Barnsley Hospital if deemed necessary.

There were large waiting lists and it was often inconvenient for people to travel to the hospital. The proposal was to move some elements of this service to local opticians across the borough. The overall feedback was very positive and people were in support of flexible appointment times, access across the borough. They said they could also see the benefits for those patients who had conditions which did need specialist treatment, as they could now be seen sooner.

People asked us if the quality of care would still be the same and we were able to offer assurance that all the participating opticians have fully trained optometrists who are highly trained for assessing and treating these types of eye conditions. People were also keen to ensure there was equal access across the borough. Whilst we could only encourage opticians to take part, we were pleased to see around 20 opticians sign up to the scheme.

Common skin conditions

Similar to common eye conditions, we reviewed the way skin conditions and dermatology services were managed. Any conditions that GPs were unsure of were being referred through to the specialist team at the hospital. It was identified that a large volume of these conditions could be assessed through the use of teledermatology. This allows the GP to take a high resolution image on a special camera of the skin and send it directly to the specialist team. The team are then able to assess the skin image, together with additional information from the GP, without the need for the patient to attend an outpatient clinic at the hospital.

When we talked to people about what they thought of these proposals they were supportive and in agreement that this could bring benefits for patients, speeding up treatment for both people who didn’t need further treatment as well as those who needed specialist, ongoing support.

End of life care strategy for Barnsley

We developed a new Barnsley end of life care strategy this year and asked people locally about what made their experience of services locally good, as well as asking what they would like to see improved.

We understand that end of life care is a sensitive subject, and can be difficult to talk about. However, the CCG is committed to talking openly about this issue to make sure that every resident in Barnsley receives the best possible care at the end of their life. Essential to the development of an effective strategy, alongside recent national policy guidance, is for this to be informed and shaped primarily by the views, wishes and recent experiences of local patients and their carers.

In brief, respondents to the survey highlighted that the most positive aspects of end of life care services in Barnsley in their personal experiences related to the following areas;

  • The staff (kindness shown, positive and caring attitude)
  • The quality of the communication and information provided
  • The level and range of services available

How responsive and supportive those local services had been in their experience. The areas that in their own personal experiences they felt could be improved upon in relation to end of life care services in Barnsley related to the following areas;

  • Improved communication and information with this being more joined up across services
  • The removal of layers of bureaucracy and red tape
  • Ensuring the right level of support and input is provided for each individual
  • The provision of suitable pain relief and equipment and
  • An improvement in some areas in the attitudes and sensitivity shown towards patients and their families.

This first phase of engagement has only provided us with a snapshot of the views and experiences of patients and carers regarding end of life care services from across Barnsley, their valuable comments and the insight they have provided will be fed back to the lead commissioners within the CCG and used to help to inform the development of the next end of life care strategy for Barnsley.

Tuberculosis services

We also talked to people about tuberculosis (TB) services in Barnsley. Engaging with patients, carers and other key stakeholder groups forms a crucial part of the overall review to ensure that the views, feedback and experiences that they share helps to influence and inform future service development based around the needs of the local community.

Taking into consideration the very small number of patients who had accessed these types of services, the majority of those that we spoke with were in the main happy with the particular aspects of the service that they had received and several provided particular praise for individuals who had taken the time to ensure that they were in possession of the information and medication they required. Healthwatch Barnsley were also able to assist in this process, working to collect detailed feedback where people's experience hadn't been positive.

As part of this overall work, a cohort review was undertaken looking at previous four years of cases and a health needs assessment was undertaken. This helped towards developing a new service specification. There was also an awareness of TB session event held for GPs across the borough.

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