Our new telephone system is now up and running
Following audits carried out on patient access last autumn and beginning of this year it became glaringly apparent that 80% of patient contact and request for access to services is through our antiquated telephone system. The audit looked at reasons for patient calls and highlighted that a large number of calls were in regards to prescription queries and requests. The audit also showed that such calls tended to be made early morning when our phones are at their busiest with patients calling requesting appointments.
We appreciate that having to call at 8:30am in the hope of obtaining an appointment is not ideal and not only very frustrating to patients but also stressful to our staff who try their best to answer and arrange appointments/prescriptions etc as quickly as possible. With that in mind we are looking at a new automated telephone system that with prompting will direct your call to the most appropriate department. If all lines are busy the automated system will advise the caller of his/her position in the queue giving you the patient the choice of either holding on or calling back at a less busy time.
With the new telephone system, patients calling to submit their repeat prescriptions before 10:00am will be given the choice of either leaving a message, remembering to leave full contact details including telephone number, or be advised to call back after 10:00am. Patients will also be directed to our website where they can submit prescriptions on line through Patient Access.
Similarly patients looking for results before 9:00am will be able to do so by leaving a message and contact details and results clerk will return patients call.
Consultation audits carried out by GPs and Practice Nurses also provided evidence to support that as many as 70-80 appointments per week could and should have been dealt with by our practice nurses. That’s a significant amount of appointments and with the assistance of our new telephone system and training of reception staff we hope that we can redirect these calls to the appropriate healthcare professional.
Prior to giving out an appointment, our receptionists will be required to ask the caller to provide information into the nature of the appointment. We appreciate and understand that many patients do not feel comfortable with giving out such details, but by doing so we believe that this will free up appointments for patients requiring GP care.
Our Advanced Nurse Practitioner Kate Gledhill is an experienced Nurse and hold clinics Monday to Wednesday and carries out a variety of Chronic Disease reviews such as diabetes, COPD, Asthma etc and a whole range of other clinics such as cervical smear.
Healthcare Assistant, Lesley Lumsden and CTAC Nurse Louise Henderson can carry out ear syringing, phlebotomy, ECGs and certain reviews, but can only do so via GP or Nurse referral.
So whats new with our System?
When you call the practice number, you will find several changes to the welcome message.
You will be advised that the receptionist will ask for details of why you want an appointment. This is to help us in ensuring you see the right person at the right time. You will also be told that all calls are being recorded. This goes for both incoming and outgoing calls. All calls are being recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
A new function with our telephone system is the introduction of our appointment cancellation line. This line is accessible all day every day. This is a message line and we ask that you leave a clear message with your name, date of birth and details of the appointment you wish to cancel. Please do not request the appointment to be re-scheduled during this message but contact the surgery during normal opening times to make alternative arrangements.
In an effort to manage the number of calls we have coming in and out of the practice, we now have a dedicated voicemail facility for prescription requests which can be left 24/7. When you call the practice please select option 2 for prescriptions and then option 1 to leave a voicemail. We ask that your message is clear and includes your name, date of birth, contact telephone number and the medication you require. A member of our Reception Team will process the prescriptions between 10am and 4pm each day.
Please note that patients will be directed to use the voicemail facility were possible if calling the practice to place a prescription request.
Please remember that we still require 48 working hours to process prescription requests.
Our results line is open during the following times.
Monday 9am – 11am
Tuesday 9am – 11am
Thursday 9am – 11am
Friday 9am – 11am