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Improved access to GP services moves a step further

Improved access to GP services moves a step further
29 July 2015

Plans to offer 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 saying they would use these online or telephone services.

The plans, named 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 public consultation during the spring.

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.

“We had lots of feedback from members of the public and it’ll be used as the services are developed.” 

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.

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.