Update to Phone System and Advanced Appointment booking – NEWPHONESYSTEMNOWLIVE
New Telephone System Information
Please note when you are given the option to press 3 for a call back the alternative option is to press # to stay in the queue.
What happens then is the line goes silent (no music) but please be assured you are still in the queue.
It appears some callers believe when the line goes silent they have been cut off. This is not the case.
I have asked our telecoms provider to look at this and see if they can add the music after you press # so you will know you’re still in the call queue.
Looking at some of your feedback and some complaints we get around the call queue we have invested in an upgraded telephone system that now allows an unlimited call queue facility. I’m proud to say we are the first practice locally to have made this investment and I’m sure other practices will follow our lead.
The old system capped the call queue at 15 callers and you were asked to call back later. In addition to this we have paid for the technology so that instead of sat waiting in the queue you can request a call back from us.
This works by virtually holding your place in the call queue and then when your call gets to the front of the queue the system automatically calls you back.
What’s important to know here is that your telephone call and number is held virtually in the queue so if you do not answer the call your call is dropped for the queue and we are unable to manually call you again.
This is part of our plan for improving access for you over the next year which sees some investment and guidance from NHS England, who also specify what we need to do to help you get better access. Better phone access and ways of contacting us is a big theme and we have made some considerable changes already with the online triage system we introduced a couple of months ago and now this new advanced telephone system.
one other area NHS England have asked all Drs surgeries to look at is improving your access to prebookable appointments. We continue to develop plans to open up more pre bookable advance appointments as you also told us that’s what you wanted in the patient surgery we ran.
We have to manage that with a robust policy for patients who do not attend appointments as historically the advanced appointments are the appointments where patients fail to attend the appointment and it means this is wasted. The new policy will be strictly adhered to and we will not tolerate persistent failure to attend appointments with us, especially as appointments are in such high demand
Ill update you more about that in September when we will start to move towards more availability for advance appointments
I hope you find this update useful and if you have any feedback please do not hesitate to contact us
Mrs Rachel Crossley
Shiregreen Medical Centre and Melrose Surgery
PLEASENOTE from Monday 17th July we will close for lunch every day (except Thursdays) from 12.30am – 1.30pm.
The practice will close at 12.30pm and calls will be diverted to the GP Collab service until 1.30 when we will re-open. This will allow all staff to have a full uninterrupted lunch break at the same time. NHS takes the wellbeing of staff very seriously and they have asked all organisations to make improvements to this for staff.
We have chosen this time as records show this has the least impact on you in terms of attending the surgery or calling the surgery.
Online Patient Triage
We have now gone live with our new online consultation service-Patient Triage. This is a great way for you to contact our practice for non-urgent medical or admin requests. It is very simple to fill out so please do give it a go if you need to contact us. Although the character count is limited on the form, please try to give as much specific and concise information as possible. We really think it is easier for most people than waiting on hold to speak to a receptionist but would love to hear your feedback. If you do not have access to the internet or find it difficult to use a computer or smartphone you can call reception instead.
The NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT) was created to help service providers and commissioners understand whether patients are happy with the service provided, or where improvements are needed. It’s a quick and anonymous way to give your views after receiving NHS care or treatment.