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New GP Appointment System For Barnsley Residents

Thursday July 3 2014

A NEW 24-hour telephone booking system for GP appointments is being introduced in Barnsley to improve access for over 200,000 residents.

Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has funded the scheme as part of the organisation’s drive to improve communication with patients, better patient access to GP practices and reduce the number of missed appointments.

So far, 30 of the 37 practices in the town have chosen to implement this facility for their patients.

The system, known as Patient Partner, is being installed at eight surgeries during the first phase of the project. The service will then be rolled out across 22 more surgeries by winter.

Patient Partner enables patients to book, check, cancel and rearrange an appointment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without speaking to a receptionist.

Patients call the surgery's usual number and will be given the choice to select the Patient Partner option.

"Our aim is to ensure that we put Barnsley people first so that they receive the best healthcare service possible," said Dr Nick Balac, chair of Barnsley CCG.

"We've listened to what people have told us about their difficulties in getting through to their surgery to make, change or cancel appointments with their GP.

"We know this can have a knock-on effect on other health services such as A&E. Eventually we hope to see fewer people turning up to A&E when they could have gone to their GP instead."

To see whether your surgery has signed up to Patient Partner and when it will be available, click here.

What do you think to this? Are you happy with the change? Have your say below.

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15 Showing 15 comments

Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday July 3 2014 at 13:38
I like the personal touch, so I hope Patient Partner has been programmed to be a little bit rude to me just like a real Dr's receptionist.

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 13:42
Harrrr. !

Reply Posted by beesness on Monday July 7 2014 at 16:25
It always amazes me when people talk about rude receptionists, yet we never mention how rude some patients are. Receptionists usually get to that stage when patients do not listen or are so rude themselves. Patients need to realise its not the receptionists fault there are no appointments available for routine things. Patients also need to realise the money to pay for GPs and staff has dramatically reduced in the last two years hence extra appointments cannot be applied. Blame the Government, not the GP Surgeries. Please note: The appointment resources are also strained when patients do not cancel unwanted appointments, want double appointments due to foreign language barriers or who do not treat themselves via chemists or common sense. This all adds to no appointments, inpatient patients hence some exasperated receptionists.

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 13:40
I know it says this is funded by CCG but Im wondering if any of the monies needed is coming from the NHS too?

Reply Posted by 4ft11andshrinking on Thursday July 3 2014 at 13:51
To here you talk Mick, everyone is rude to you. How big is your ego? come on, do tell.

Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:16
Calm down, it's a joke.

Reply Posted by Azzie on Thursday July 3 2014 at 14:26
The CCG is the NHS Sid, used to be the Primary Care Trust

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:10
@Azzie thanks for that. So what a can of worms that has opened.
Money spent on technology yet again when the looking after patients isnt working.
We couldnt track down a common Zovirax for eyes prescription in Barnsley, we tried 4 chemists,eventually getting it from a chemist in Wakefield. This leads me to think there isnt enough money for stocks.

Then just today a workmate of mine booked off 2 days for a simple operation at Barnsley. He waited all morning,to be told at dinnertime that there wasnt enough time to do the operation today. He has lost a days pay.
Im afraid Dr.Nick Balac, that a new appointment system will not help my friend,his appointment was made and then broken down to what I imagine is either poor planning or lack of funding. It makes me want to scream. Yes we all are frustrated with the present system,but surely the funding should have been spent on actually giving treatment instead of using it to book appointments that are cancelled at a moments notice! Ridiculous. This country is all fur coat and no sodding knickers, looks good but it dosnt work,put in what ever saying you want. As A doctor Nick Balac,surely you feel the frustration of the way this funding has been used.

Reply Posted by beesness on Monday July 7 2014 at 16:16
Actually Azzie, just to correct that, Barnsley CCG is a joint support enterprise for the 38 practices in Barnsley that enable's them to have a say on what the NHS money for Barnsley patients is spent on. The old Primary Care Trust is now NHS England.

Reply Posted by sid on Monday July 7 2014 at 16:58
Your post beesness makes the whole matter of where the funding is spent even more ridiculous. Theres some money availiable for the NHS to spend on Barnsley patients....mmmmm lets see,we,ll spend it on the doctors surgeries instead. Sod the poorly folk and thier operations and drugs. Flaming hell!

Reply Posted by beesness on Saturday July 12 2014 at 17:45
sid - NHS money cannot possibly always be spent on operations etc. We have to have a valuable, useful GP service in the first place that allows patients to have better control of their health etc. The allocated funding discussed in this article is minimal to what is available to the whole of the NHS in Barnsley, and most GP surgeries have been fighting for the last 3 years to gain extra funding to be able to employ a good ratio of GP to patient care that will hopefully keep patients out of hospital in the first place. I think you need to ask the hospital trusts what they are doing with their allocated funding for operations and the Health Authorities what they are doing with their allocated funding to provide drugs that patients need.

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday July 12 2014 at 19:32
Well beesness, a couple of weeks ago, my son sat at the side of his GP whilst she telephoned to make an appointment to see the ENT specialist for his son. The appointment was made there and then. When they got to Barnsley hospital for the appointment ,there was no record of it. So who answered the call from the GP and simply didn't do their job? So my opinion has waivered,it seems the new system may be needed if only to sack an incompetent nincompoop. By the way, his son was seen, someone in charge very kindly let them see the specialist and alls well. The whole carry on mind you was like a comedy of errors, only funny though as our little fella didn't lose his sight in his infected eye,which,as it took 7days to be attended to properly is down to good luck and not medical competance.

Reply Posted by 4ft11andshrinking on Thursday July 3 2014 at 15:25
Bless him (Mick) not the first time we have crossed swords...ha ha

Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday July 3 2014 at 16:58
Not all the comments on WAB from 'Mick' are me but I remember our previous exchange. I admit I am a stickler for good manners and expect a smile from people I deal with too, but I give the same even when they aren't reciprocated. And then I come home & have a little Victor Meldrew like moan about it!

Reply Posted by 4ft11andshrinking on Friday July 4 2014 at 08:25
I too was brought up with good manners, I consider myself altruistic and not egotistical. But I have also been known to be direct when needs be:)