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New GP service hits 2000 mark

New GP service hits 2000 mark
01 March 2016

Over 2000 Barnsley patients have used the new iHEART GP services since it launched in November 2015.

The GP service was set up last year by Barnsley Healthcare Federation, alongside NHS Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, as a response to patient feedback on the availability of GP and nurse appointments as well as seeing the number people going to A&E for minor things, which could have been treated elsewhere.

Over 500 people are calling into the service each week now to get advice, have a telephone appointment or to see a GP or nurse in the evening or on a Saturday at either one of the two locations in Barnsley or Wombwell.

The new service doesn’t replace existing GP surgeries but means that there are extra urgent appointments available as well as routine ones possibly at times that suit people better.

Jim Logan of Barnsley Healthcare Federation who run the iHEART service says: “We’re really pleased with the way patients have responded to the service so far. It’s still early days but more and more people are finding this is a useful service for them and 99% said they would recommend it to friends and family.”

Dr Nick Balac, chair of Barnsley CCG said: “The patterns people work, or the way we shop, or use technology to make life simpler is changing all the time and as a CCG, we wanted to design a service that fitted in with this. We listened to patients who told us it was sometimes hard to get an GP appointment and we worked with them to design something new. Not only does it add extra appointments for any Barnsley patient but it’s also moving with the times, developing ways to offer things like email or video appointments.

This service is just one of the things we’ve introduced to help people get the most appropriate care and treatment for their condition, in a timely manner. We know it will take time to see the impact but one of the interesting things for me is that over a three month period, 353 of the patients using iHEART Barnsley said they would have gone to A&E if they hadn’t used the service. That means the service is starting to work, getting people to the right service at the right time.”

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For more details on the iHEART Barnsley services, visit http://www.iheartbarnsley.org.uk/