Has i-HEART been closed down by the CQC?
No. i-HEART will continue to provide pre-bookable GP appointments during evenings and weekends.
Why is the service changing?
We continually review the way in which our services operate in order to ensure they currently meet the needs of our patients.
We routinely assess patient feedback to ensure the services we provide meet the needs of the patients we serve and following feedback we received from the CQC inspection earlier this year, we conducted an extensive review of all areas of patient care being delivered by i-HEART.
This work has revealed that whilst many patients have reported positive experiences of using the services delivered by i-HEART, the telephone triage service does not meet the needs of our patients.
What is changing?
As a result of the findings of our review, our current telephone triage service will be withdrawn. This means you will no longer be asked to describe your symptoms when speaking to a member of staff.
What is a triage service?
Triage is used to identify the symptoms a patient is experiencing, based upon answers to questions asked. This process helps patients to receive the most appropriate form of care.
Why are you closing the triage service at i-HEART?
When i-HEART was first launched, it was designed to enable patients to access medical advice at times when their own GP surgery was closed. We have assessed the way in which the triage service currently operates and feel it no longer meets the needs of our patients.
When will the telephone triage service close?
i-HEART’s telephone triage service will close on 1st October 2018.
Will i-HEART’s telephone number change?
No. The telephone number will remain unchanged and appointments can continue to be booked with i-HEART, however, please note our new operating hours below:
The telephone lines will be open between 4:00pm – 6:00pm (Monday to Friday) and 8:00am – 9:30am during weekends and bank holidays.
Can I still book an appointment with i-HEART?
Yes. Appointments can still be booked by using the existing telephone number (01226 242419) during the opening hours as above.
Can I still receive medical advice via telephone?
No. Our telephone lines will be staffed by our administration team who will book an appointment with one of our clinicians. They cannot offer advice on any medical matters.
Can I still request a call back from i-HEART?
No. The call back service was offered as part of our telephone triage service. From 1st October, i-HEART will no longer provide medical advice via telephone; this means the call-back service will be withdrawn.
Are any of the i-HEART hubs closing?
No. The changes we are planning to implement will enable us to increase the number of pre-bookable appointments available, in order to meet existing demand.
Are you reducing the number of appointments available?
No. With the changes we are planning to introduce, we will be increasing the numbers of appointments available each day.
Why have you reduced the telephone opening hours?
i-HEART is a service which was designed to provide an alternative way of accessing medical advice when your GP is surgery closed. Following the removal of the triage service this will mean telephone calls into the service will be shorter, meaning it should be easier to book an appointment and more appointments will be available.
Do the changes mean it will be more difficult to book an appointment with i-HEART?
No. Removing the triage service means telephone calls into the service will be shorter, meaning it should be easier to book an appointment and more appointments will be available.
Where can I obtain medical advice when i-HEART is closed?
i-HEART was never designed to replace your GP surgery, but to offer alternative ways of accessing medical treatment at times when your GP surgery is closed. You should always contact your GP in the first instance to discuss any medical concerns you have.
If you are unable to access an appointment with your GP, you can continue to call i-HEART during our revised opening hours. When our phone lines are closed, you should call NHS111 for non-emergencies and call 999 for emergencies.
What should I do if I need to speak to a doctor but don’t think I need an appointment?
Please note the changes we have introduced to i-HEART means general medical advice can no longer be provided via telephone. If you require general medical advice you should always contact your own GP in the first instance. If you are unable to speak to your GP, you should ring NHS111 and in medical emergencies please call 999 immediately.
Will any staff be made redundant as a result of the changes?
No. All existing i-HEART staff will continue to be employed by the service.
I want to comment on your proposals
We welcome all feedback regarding your experiences of i-HEART. Should you wish to comment on our proposed changes, please contact our patient liaison team: firstname.lastname@example.org.