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We want to get better at communicating with our patients. We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you. If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know by completing the following form.
PRACTICE TELEPHONE UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2022
We would like to thank you for your continued patience and support as we move into the final stages of upgrading our telephone system. Our telephone provider has advised that the Hosted Server has now been set up and they are working closely with the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit to install the software. Once the software is installed, they will attend the surgery to complete the custom configuration and provide our team with training on the new system.
What will change?
At present we only have 10 spaces in the telephone queue. This set up was to reduce the time that patients are kept on hold, as we acknowledge that this can be costly for those who pay for their calls, and also appreciate that patients have busy lives. The new upgrade will allow us to increase the number of spaces in the queue, as patients will have the option to select "Hold my Place in the Queue", allowing them to put the phone down and await a call back from our team. These patients will not lose their place in the queue, as the system will keep their place and slot them back in when they reach the front of the queue as if they had stayed on the line. At this point, their phone will ring and they will be reconnected to the team. We hope you will agree that this is a significant improvement on the current system, and we are very excited that we are able to offer our patients this enhanced service.
What you have said so far....
Whilst some patients have expressed their frustration and dissatisfaction with the current system, we have received lots of very encouraging and positive feedback from those acknowledging the changes we have made so far. We thank you for your kind words and support to our team as we continue to work within the current limitations whilst we await the upgrade. Most patients are now choosing the correct option for the department they need and this has made a huge difference to both patients and our team alike. Thank you for taking on board our request for your support with this. For those that are still unsure of which option to choose, here is a gentle reminder :
You will be greeted by the friendly voice of our Reception Manager Julie who will give you options to select to get through to the correct department to handle your query.
- OPTION 1 : For medical emergencies only. Our reception staff are not permitted to handle routine calls if you select this option and you will be asked to ring back. This is to keep the line clear for medical emergencies where patients need immediate assistance.
- OPTION 2 : Booking/cancelling appointments, results and general queries. Appointments can be booked throughout the day whilst there are still appointments available. The highest call volumes are between 8.30am and 9.30am, and again between 2pm and 3pm because this is when the majority of people contact us to arrange appointments. If you are ringing with a general query or to get results, we would kindly ask that you ring outside of these busy hours. Not only will this stagger the call volumes over the course of the day, but it will significantly reduce your struggle to get through and also the time that you are kept on hold whilst waiting to be assisted.
- OPTION 3 : Prescription/medication/report queries. This department has recently seen some experienced staff leave and we have welcomed new members to the team. Their phone lines are currently closed between 9am and 10am, and again between 4pm and 5pm. This is a temporary measure to ensure they have protected time for training as a team. Please call outside of these hours and they will be able to assist you with your queries.
- OPTION 4 : Secretaries and referral queries. Whilst our secretaries are more than happy to assist you with referral queries, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the new My Planned Care Digital Platform. This site provides people waiting for a hospital appointment, operation or treatment (excluding cancer) direct access to the latest wait-time information and support for all acute trusts across England. We encourage you to look at this site where you may find the information you need before contacting the surgery for an update about any elective procedures you are waiting for.
Thank you again from all the team at Charlton.
To read our previous Telephone Update in March 2022, please click HERE
For routine queries, please avoid ringing the surgery at the busiest times of the day. We have found that the busiest times tend to be between 8.30am and 9.30am and again between 2.00pm and 3.00pm. This will benefit all patients as it frees up the phone lines for urgent help needed on the day.
TEXT MESSAGING SERVICE
You can now register to receive appointment reminders by text message on your phone.
If you wish to register for this messaging service please ask at reception, or fill out the consent form.
We want to get better at communicating with our patients. We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you. If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know.
We want to know if you need information in braille, large print or easy read. We want to know if you need a British Sign Language interpreter or advocate.
We want to know if we can support you to lipread or use a hearing aid or communication tool.
Accessible Information Form
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