How’s Thi Ticker? upcoming dates

How’s Thi Ticker – community blood pressure checks events

Please see HTT whereabouts for upcoming two-weeks below:

  • 28th September – Worsborough Pantry (9:30am to 1pm)
  • 29th September – Goldthorpe Salvation Army (10:30am to 1pm)
  • 4th October – St Luke’s Church, Grimethorpe (12pm to 1:30pm)
  • 6th October – Barnsley Market

Falls Awareness Day Friday 22 September

 Falls Awareness Day

 “From awareness to action”


Barnsley Market Hall entrance

Date and time:

Friday 22 September
9am – 3pm

 Come along to talk about falls for yourself or someone you know.

 Get tips and advice from organisations and teams including AgeUK, BOPPA, community NHS services, pop up mobility clinic, physical health prescribers, and social prescribers.

Closed for Staff Training today 20 September from 12 pm

The surgery will be closed today from 12pm for Staff Training.

For medical help during this time:

Life-threatening? 999

Urgent? Contact NHS111

Non-urgent? Contact us from 8am on Thursday, or online via

Our weekly check-in with the Patient Satisfaction Survey

It is time for a look at the comments left on our Patient Satisfaction Survey and the Friends and Family Test again.

On arrival to the GP surgery I thought that I was booked in ,I waited nearly an hour and went to see who I was seeing to be told I did not get booked in and then I could not be seen has she was now booked up .this is not acceptable .

We agree. It is unacceptable if this happened due to an error made on our side. The clinician is not at fault here. However, if this patient did report to reception and inform them of their arrival, this was an oversight by the receptionist. There are many reasons why this can occur. Human error is the most common one. Sometimes the computer system crashes and in the restart, it is forgotten to arrive the patient. Another time the receptionist may be busy doing something and gets distracted by this. It is also possible the patient assumed the receptionist had noticed their arrival and thought this would lead to marking them as arrived. Or that the receptionist simply didn’t hear the patient. We apologise for this oversight. If you ever start to wonder if you may not have been marked as arrived, please check with the receptionist that this has occurred. Often it will be because the clinician is running behind, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

In the present climate theres not a lot you could do to improve with cut backs on each doctors nurses etc

Thank you for your support. We try the best we can under the circumstances.

My visit was with a new nurse and she was very pleasant and good at her job. I hope she has a good career there. (Ellie).

We are happy to hear this patient had a good experience with the new Nursing Associate, Ellie. We agree we hope she will be with us for many years.

Excellent service , communication, time allocation,

Thank you. We aim to provide the best service possible.

I was invited to see a nurse for my yearly M O T .In the email it said I should wear a mask -when I arrived I was the only person in a mask !!! Mixed messages

Although we still recommend the wearing of masks in the clinical areas, this is a personal choice now for patients and clinicians. With the resurgence of Covid and new strains, things may change again. We follow the national guidance on this, but please use a face covering if you wish.

X was the gp I saw. Awful experience, X didn’t want to listen to my problems about my pain levels regarding 2 chronic conditions I have. Was unwilling to talk about a plan or anything to try help with the pain, even after I told X I have to spend most day in bed the pain is that bad. All X had to say was fibromyalgia sometimes goes away, it doesnt and X really needs educating on this illness, and that until it goes away I should just stay in bed suffering in high amount of pain! As a result of this I called 111 who advised I go to a&e where I was made to feel I was waisting people time until I was seen by the gp there who actually listened to me and has now prescribed some pain medication and advised me on some pain management all of which X could have done had X actually been bothered about X’s patients

We are sorry to hear this patient had this experience.
Often this is due to misunderstandings rather than an unwillingness of the doctor to listen. But, when things like this happen, it once more shows us how important it is that the patient’s and the doctor’s agenda are aligned. How important it is that a doctor doesn’t simply listen, but also shows this listening. Both in action and in the way the doctor acts towards the patient.
Doctors can be under extreme pressure. In those times it is especially important they practice self-care and take a break every now and then. Once they have taken this break they can then face their patients with renewed energy.
Whatever happened during this consultation, it is obvious the agenda of the doctor and the patient weren’t aligned. We have made the GP in question aware of this comment.

Good job I got a face to face as the person I saw could see I was clearly showing signs of fatigue which I hadn’t picked up. This leads to blood being taken and nothing to do with my initial reason for the visit.

Occasionally there are other problems the clinician picks up on. Sometimes these are more important than the reason the patient attended for in the first place. It will not always be possible to deal with both issues in the same appointment, but we would hope another appointment would then be arranged to deal with the other problem. We’re glad the patient was happy with the outcome of this visit.

Making test results available in full either emailed or through the NHS app, as some other practices do (Sheffield)

Patients always have been able to request this access if they wished. A form is available at reception to request this. Prospective access to medical records has also recently been enabled, which means data from the date this was enabled is visible to patients via the NHS App. Any new patients registering with the practice will only see what has been added to their record since their registration.

Seen by a brilliant nurse

Only thing is getting to see a doctor but otherwise I am happy with the system

That is a really common thing to hear. Yes, we do have a problem with capacity not being in balance with demand. A national problem, really. We would love to increase the number of appointments by taking on more staff and doctors. There are two major problems with that. The first is that there is a national shortage of doctors. The second problem is that if we could get more doctors, we wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. We only have ten clinical rooms spread over 2 sites. The clinicians are currently hot-seating to create as much capacity as we can. With close to 7500 patients (and growing), this is a big task. Although we’ve previously enquired about the possibility of closing our list to new patients, we were informed we would not gain approval to do so. All we can do is continue as we are doing and provide the service we can. When our capacity for appointments is reached, patients will need to be signposted elsewhere.

You acted really quick with my appointments, and have helped when I needed advice from yourselves and the doctor

We are happy to hear this patient was happy with our service.

Clean and appointment was on time. Easy to park.

We’re pleased to hear that. We can’t take credit for the cleanliness of the building. This is the achievement of the excellent cleaning team. Appointments may not always be on time, but the clinicians do their best to keep to time as much as possible. Emergencies and other issues may delay them. I suspect this patient went to Grimethorpe as the Cudworth car park is often full to capacity.

Use a countdown system when I phone up

We’re not sure when the patient last phoned the surgery. Both in Grimethorpe and in Cudworth, patients should get onto a queuing system that informs them which number they are in the queue.

Always ready to listen and help me

Very friendly staff

What are we doing particularly well?
Getting appointments booked even at short notice and prioritising patients

Weekly check-in with our Patient Satisfaction Survey.

Our practice manager may be on annual leave this week, but that doesn’t stop her from looking at the results from the Patient Satisfaction Survey and the Friends and Family Test.

Here are the comments received during the last week.

provides a better service than a lot of other surgeries.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
about the same
What are we doing particularly well?
communication is better
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
would like a better and quicker access to the doctor.

We believe access to the doctor has improved with the current process. Every patient requesting a GP appointment receives an assessment of needs after the receptionist has taken details. A clinician then reads through these details and assesses which course of action is most appropriate. Where a GP appointment is felt to be the appropriate action, an appointment is offered. Often on the same day. Where a same-day appointment is felt to be needed but no appointments remain, the clinician will signpost to an appropriate service that can provide a same-day appointment.

Based on my appointment on 5th sept 23 everything went straight forward.
I would have given a different answer based on previous attempts to get an appointment in the past and have had no alternative but to use the I heart service as could never get through to the surgery & when successful no appointments left.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Yes it seems that way if my last appointment is anything to go by
What are we doing particularly well?
It was easy enough to arrange an appointment via the triage/link
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
I’m lucky enough to rarely need to visit the GP but based on my last appointment I can’t fault it.
Great service from staff

It appears the above patient agrees access to an appointment has improved. We hope this is the case and less people in need of an appointment miss out. Where a different service is more appropriate, patients should now be signposted to that more appropriate service.

Reception staff very friendly,they are so busy don’t know how they do it. Dr Sam as always very professional and friendly, she certainly takes an interest in her patients.

Another satisfied customer. It certainly helps to receive positive feedback too.

Appointments and telephone working much better

My appointment was for 3.50pm, I arrived at 3.35pm booked in at reception. Did see doctor until 4.25pm. There were other patients that arrived way after me who saw the same doctor, the receptionist had forgot to mark me on computer. It was only when another receptionist took over, she noticed a question mark next to my name, therefore she booked me in. I suffer with anxiety and depression so this waiting about made me very anxious and fidgity.

We are very sorry to hear this. Although sometimes the patient forgets to inform reception, it also occurs that our receptionist has forgotten to mark a patient as arrived. This is usually when she has been very busy and the patient arrived while she was in the middle of another task. We apologise if this ever happened to you. If you wonder if the receptionist might not have marked you off, please don’t hesitate to doublecheck. Often it is because a doctor is running behind after having dealt with an important problem or an emergency, but receptionists are only human, too.

There is definitely improvement In making an appointment, still room for improvement on patient care as most people using the service are ill, sometimes when reception are explaining what can or can’t be done it is done in a manner of, that’s your lot not in a caring manner, I know it is frustrating for staff when there is a lack of resources, but it is more frustrating for someone who is ill

We apologise if staff come across as non-caring and we can assure you they do care. Unfortunately, often there is nothing that is within their power to do. If they have come across this a few times in a row, then it might start to sound a little despairing. They would love to help but know their hands are bound. Perhaps it is time to discuss this issue with our staff again in one of our upcoming training sessions. How can they manage their own frustrations and ensure the patient feels listened to?

My experience with the practice was 100% perfect as always but when I was in my appointment with Jackie I realy felt like I wasn’t wanted there I was asked questions which I answered but then I was told I don’t mean that answer a mean what she wanted me to say why ask me a question when ur going to answer it in future I would prefer to see a doctor not a nurse if possible I realy felt like a peice of crap when I walk out of doctors for no reason I’m sorry to moan but I can’t stop thinking about how I was made to feel

We wonder what happened here. Most patients are 100% happy with how they feel listened to and supported by our advanced nurse practitioner. She is a very competent and thorough individual with many years of experience and works at the same level as a GP. We can only guess that the question she asked and the question the patient thought she asked were different questions and she wanted to clarify this. However, we weren’t there and don’t know what happened. We only know she would be horrified to hear she upset a patient.

Can’t remember the last time I used the doctors surgery but I have to firstly say how helpful & professional Julie on reception was. Not just with myself but with others visiting the reception desk. Secondly I would like to say how lucky we are to have Dr Bell at our practice. He gave me time to explain my circumstances, listened to me & responded with understanding and care & empathy.
It was nice to be able to get straight through on the telephone & as in the past I have given up. it was straight forward to get an appointment as needed.
Thank you

Another satisfied customer.

I was contacted by the surgery that my medical and asthma review was needed. The attention and care I received was excellent. The nurse wanted me to see a Dr and I received an appointment by telephone the same day. Luckily I don’t need Drs appointments often but when I do Dr Maters is always very courteous and
thorough, throughout the appointment

Glad to hear the system worked well.

Thanks again for a much needed appointment

By making the message on your answer phone shorter if possible

We will be looking at the message again in the near future. It is difficult to make it shorter and still provide all the information needed.

On this occasion I had an appointment arranged quickly with a practice GP and the doctor who reviewed my condition was very good and displayed a full understanding

Thank you for your service Dr Lannon was excellent

We also received a few spam messages. How to grow our Instagram. How to improve something we don’t offer, etc. We obviously deleted those straight away.

You can’t book an appointment with GPs.
You can only book appointment by telephone on that day…start ringing in morning and it’s very difficult to get the reception team, the phone is continously on engaged tone then get disconnected.
If you luckily get through, All appointment slots have gone?

This patient doesn’t appear to realise our system has changed. Receptionists no longer directly book GP appointments. Instead, they take details of the problem. A clinician reads through the details given and assesses what action will best fit the patient’s problem. This could be an appointment, advice, prescription, signposted to another service better suited for that problem. And yes, when all appointments have already been assigned and our capacity is reached, the patient will be signposted to i-Heart or another service. Our phone lines are extremely busy, and this is something we have little or no control over. The alternative is to use our online consultations platform and bypass the phones altogether. You can find this here:

I asked for a blood test for my liver due to poor results on the past. It was arranged really quick and I get it done in the morning, se day I first contacted the practice.

I’ve now seen 3 different doctor one being at at A&E only to be told I should go back to my own doctor to review my medication so very frustrated and feel I’ve been given a runaround

We’re sorry to hear that. We don’t know the exact problem, but hope this is resolved now.

Dr Jackie and nurse Gemma have been nothing short of fantastic with me, ive honestly really appreciated their time and effort to help me

We agree that our Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Jackie and our nursing associate Gemma are great assets in the practice and are glad to hear this patient felt supported by them.

The clinician I saw was extremely approachable and friendly. Making myself and my daughter who was a vivid baby and usually scared of doctors/nurses in the Gp setting very relaxed. My daughter who is 4 now actually left the room and said that lady was very kind.

Text with appt time was confusing as it said I had a face to face appointment when it was a telephone appointment. I had to ring the surgery to check which was correct.

We apologise. That was really strange and shouldn’t have happened. Only face-to-face appointments should receive a text reminder. All we can think is that an appointment slot was used that generally is a face-to-face and not changed to a telephone slot.

Again, the majority of the feedback was positive, but there were some displeased customers too. This certainly gives us food for thought and the opportunity to look at ways to improve our services further. Thank you all for taking the time to fill in the Patient Satisfaction Survey and Friend and Family Test. It allows us to see where the problems are through the eyes of our patients and work towards finding solutions for this.

Closed for Staff Training today 6 September from 12 pm

The surgery will be closed today from 12pm for Staff Training.

For medical help during this time:

Life-threatening? 999

Urgent? Contact NHS111

Non-urgent? Contact us from 8am on Thursday, or online via

Closed for Staff Training tomorrow Wednesday 6 September

The surgery will be closed tomorrow Wednesday 6 September from 12pm for Staff Training.

For medical help during this time:

Life-threatening? 999

Urgent? Contact NHS111

Non-urgent? Contact us from 8am on Thursday, or online via

Our weekly Patient Satisfaction Survey results check-in

It’s the weekend which means the practice manager has a look at the Patient Satisfaction surveys again. We believe it is important to stay in-tune with what our patients tell us and adjust things where necessary. We are, of course, limited by our capacity and guidance from above in what we can do. Some things are not achievable although we will keep looking for solutions to improve our services where possible.

Here is a round-up of this week’s comments left:

Seeing the GP face to face was really good and reassuring. I am still waiting 6 months on for my ears syringing and they are full of wax.

We don’t provide ear syringing in the surgery, and the district nursing team is currently unable to provide this service either. Instead, the surgery will need to refer patients to ENT to receive ear care.

There is, however, a local Ear Service available you might wish to look into.

Services include: – Wax removal and micro-suctioning – Removal of foreign materials from ear – Diagnosis of otitis externa and otomycosis – advice and ear care education, ..signposting to appropriate treatments There is a fee of £50 (covers both ears), but is a much quicker option than the 3+ months wait for ENT.

This service works from the Cudworth Health Centre.

Excellent service despite my scepticism prior to ringing, exceeded my expectations and a professional approach throughout my patient journey experience. I’ve been highly impressed with the surgery since becoming a patient. Staff are super friendly, polite, respectful and a pleasure to speak to at my time of need. Thank you

We’re pleased to hear this. We are more used to hearing complaints than people telling us how pleased they are with the service. After all, if everything goes well, people don’t tend to say much.

The young woman on the reception desk was very rude and not overly professional

We wonder who this person is talking about. We don’t have many young women and we have never witnessed the young women we do have at reception being rude or unprofessional. If our staff have come across as rude and unprofessional, we do apologise. They work hard and tend to bend over backwards to help our patients.

Reception staff very helpful. Prompt reply by text for an early appointment.

We are glad to hear this patient was satisfied.

Good knowledgable staff, good doctors, nice surgery
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Yes, in my last questionnaire I said there was no queue to wait in a queue which meant you was calling over 50 times first thing in a morning and just getting a busy message and clicking off. Now you have implemented a waiting queue which is much better and more user friendly.

We are glad to hear the queuing system is making a difference. There are still reports from patients that they get a busy tone when ringing. These are the times when the queue is full when people ring. With 7500 patients and 2 phone lines between our Grimethorpe and Cudworth branch it is unsurprising the phones can’t cope with the number of calls received. The lines get quieter after 10 am, and you can bypass the phones completely by using the online consultations system. You can access that here: Please bear in mind it can take up to 3 working days for us to respond to medical and administrative requests sent via this system (although usually much quicker than that).

Not many comments this week and, like last week, all the comments made were shared with you. We believe the above comments leave us with the following actions:

  • Keep doing what we’re doing with our phone system and the services we provide
  • Observe our staff members as they interact with patients (rudeness is not tolerated)
  • Continue to explore further improvements to the systems in place

Checking our Patient Survey results

In case you think filling in our Survey is a waste of time, the practice manager checks the results every weekend. We use the results to help us improve our services further. We may not be able to, but we continue to monitor and adapt to provide the best service we possibly can.

Here are a few of the recent results (only those where people have left a comment are included):

Getting through to the surgery was difficult. The telephone kept going dead every time I called. Once I got the appointment, everything went smoothly.

We know our phone system (although improved) still causes problems for our patients. Although we continue to look at solutions, why not try our online consultations system instead and bypass the busy phonelines? Don’t rely on this for urgent issues as it may take 3 working days for us to respond.

Quick to be seen and great care by the receptionist and doctor.

Brilliant consultation was very pleased

Because I am not a regular visitor to the surgery I am not sure how I should make an appointment. Do I ring, do call at the surgery or book an appointment myself using Patient Access?

You can find more about our appointment system here:

A first class service as always

Quick to be seen and great care by the receptionist and doctor.

As always very happy with my Dr,s

You’re doing a great job, I’m happy with the new phone system and the new appointment system, all of my issues have been dealt with promptly. The only thing I could wish for would be an electronic “I have arrived for my appointment” system that I have seen at previous practices as there have been times I have arrived in time for my appointment but there has been a couple of people in the queue so it makes me “late” for my appointment.

A great suggestion. We used to have one in place, but it kept breaking down. We got so frustrated with it that we did away with the self-arrival screens. Perhaps it’s time to have another look at the systems available.

This was a follow up from a screening for lung disease the appointment was prompt and doctor Maters was very thorough and alayed any worries l had from results totally satisfied

We have had an influx of results coming through from the lung health checks. Several patients were either shown to have mild, moderate, or severe emphysema, and others were diagnosed with a lung nodule that needed monitoring, some of the findings were suspicious for lung cancer and the screening programme directly referred those patients for further hospital investigations. The screening also provided some accidental findings, lumps in the stomach or kidneys, or calcifications in the arteries around the heart. Not all findings were significant, but some of these will need a consultation with a GP to find out if they are significant or not. People diagnosed with emphysema will need yearly COPD reviews.

A number of patients were upset by the request to come for a COPD review when they were unaware of the diagnosis. We believed the patient had been informed of the diagnosis (as this was what the letters we received told us), but later found out that we received the letter before the patient received the diagnosis and explanation mentioned. We apologise to those patients where our action was faster than the explanation and diagnosis provided by the lung health check team. From now on, we will wait at least a few weeks after receipt of the letter before requesting patients to book in for their COPD review. This should give the team sufficient time to inform patients and explain the diagnosis.

Cannot understand why it’s so hard to get help when needed.
About time something is done about getting appointed, then been told to ring first thing.
And then spending half hour before being answered

Why is it so difficult to get an appointment? Well, we have around 7500 patients. There are two full-time GP partners, a salaried GP who works one morning a week, and three locums. The locums work differing hours (1 day a week, 4 mornings a week, and 3 days a week). We also have an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who can do most of the work a GP can and is extremely experienced. Our Physician Associate can do similar things too.

Still, for 7500 patients, we don’t really have enough clinicians to provide the number of appointments patients want (and need).

The ‘easy’ solution is to take on more clinicians and provide more appointments. So why don’t we?

Well, there are insufficient numbers available. Other than that, we don’t have the space to put the extra clinicians either. They are already hot-seating as it is. One finishes their surgery and the next one takes the seat as soon as it becomes available. Funding is an issue too, but could be overcome if space didn’t restrict us. Unfortunately, we have no access to more space than we currently have.

Our appointment system at present aims to ensure appointments are available for those who need them, and those better served elsewhere are signposted there. The system in itself is considered ‘difficult’ by some patients too. They just want to go back to making an appointment whenever they want one. Or, some people even told us they want to go back to the ‘open surgery’ format. Just queue outside for hours until it is your turn.

With the new system, patients no longer need to phone ‘first thing’ at 8 am. However, we can only assign appointments according to the availability. If you phone at 6 pm chances are there won’t be any chance of being seen the same day. You will likely be signposted to i-Heart instead.

Like the patient above, we are often told we never answer the phone or they have to wait for too long for the phone to be answered. We can assure you this isn’t because the receptionist is sitting twiddling her thumbs. As soon as one call ends, the next one is answered. The phones ring nearly non-stop throughout the day. Some calls take a few seconds, others can take a long time. Occasionally (fortunately not very often) it can take half an hour or more before a call is completed.

When I get my bloods done for my INR always on time nurse is caring and helpful

I have received excellent care and hope it will help me.

I feel that I am seen as often as I need to be in regards to the problems I have had

I was very happy of the service i recieved

The length of time to answer a phone 40 minutes is a long time when 4th in the queue

Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Absolutely. Much easier to speak with a doctor.
What are we doing particularly well?
Informative receptionist
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
Genuinely nothing. It’s nice that genuine people can get an appt if required.

Every time I’ve needed help, everyone from the reception to clinical teams have been fantastic. Calm, patient, supportive, and understanding.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
It’s easier to get appointments since the introduction of the triage lists and telephone queueing system.
What are we doing particularly well?
Helping people when they need it most by signposting to the right services.
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
There’s nothing I can think of.

We are pleased most of the feedback is positive. It is encouraging to hear that the changes we made are in the most seen as improvements by our patients and providing people with the care they need. We may not always get it right (we’re only human), but we do all we can to get it right (or put it right if we didn’t).

Thank you to all the people who are taking the time to fill in the survey. It is very much appreciated.

Falls Awareness Day Friday 22 September

 Falls Awareness Day

 “From awareness to action”


Barnsley Market Hall entrance

Date and time:

Friday 22 September
9am – 3pm

 Come along to talk about falls for yourself or someone you know.

 Get tips and advice from organisations and teams including AgeUK, BOPPA, community NHS services, pop up mobility clinic, physical health prescribers, and social prescribers.