Back to News

New phone system Posted on 5 Dec 2019

On Thursday 5th December we will introduce a new phone system which will bring a few changes to the surgery. We have all been used to receptionists answering all the incoming calls. But as we get bigger, busier and more complex, we have realised how many of the calls are being forwarded to other members of the administrative staff. So, to allow people wanting to make appointments to get straight through to the receptionists, and people with queries about prescriptions, or letters or hospital appointments (or the multitude of other things we do) to go straight to the right person who can answer their questions, we have thought long and hard.


The patient group has been closely involved and helped design the flow of calls. Importantly, the "picking list" is kept to a minimum and top of the list is will be straight through to reception.


It is important to us that the first person you speak to is the right person at the right time. We realise this is a big change for us and you - so please let us know how you think it is going. We want this to work.


We will no longer be able to send or receive faxes. If you currently ask your pharmacist to order your prescription for you, this is the way that they would normally request your medication. Please could you either register to order your regular medication online or request it from our reception staff, so that the person handling your request has up to date details of your current medication?


The other big change is that all incoming phone calls will be recorded. You will hear a message informing you of this when you ring the surgery - and we promise to keep the message as short as possible!


Why are we recording? On average we are taking on 2 new staff every year. We are the fastest growing practice in the area and training is a big part of their induction. We want to get it right. We can also use it to improve what we currently do. We always try to do our best, be polite and do what we say we will do.


However, things don't always go as we would like. We are pleased to say we have very few complaints, but when we do get one, we are very thorough in investigating what happened. We are aware that phone conversations can often be a big part of that investigation. Until now we haven't been able to look at those in detail - but now we will be able to.


Who owns the recordings? The recordings are kept by the telephone company (called X-On) so they will not form part of your medical record. As part of our Privacy Policy, we have confirmed that their use of data conforms with GDPR and you are entitled to have copies of the recordings if you so wish by contacting the telephone company.


And finally.... 


Please bear with us on 5th December whilst we are switched over to the new system. We have been reassured that there should not be any interruption of phone service, but it may take us a little time to get to grips with the new phones.