Cheadle Medical Practice

What’s Changing? – April 2023

Reduction of Call Wait Times

Just a short update on a big change we’ve made over the last few months.

We have changed the way we deal with incoming phone calls, resulting in a reduction of the average wait time to approximately 3 minutes.

We have achieved this by:-

  • More patients using the NHS App rather than phoning, leaving the phone lines clear for those who cannot use online services.
  • Use of technology to detect when the phone lines are busiest and automatically notify colleagues for extra support.
  • Changing staff working hours / rotas to better reflect when patients want to get in touch with us.

It’s important to understand that our reception team don’t just answer the phone. They:-

  • Put prescriptions onto the system to send to the GP (if you use the NHS App for your prescription, this frees up receptionists to answer the phone). There are over 1,000 a week of these.
  • Book follow-up appointments requested by our team of clinicians
  • Process letters from the hospital/community healthcare providers and determine which letters need to be seen by a GP. We get around 750 a week of these.
  • Work on the front desk as the first point of contact for patients.
  • Process new patients registering with us and patients leaving. (Manager’s Note – you would think this would be straightforward, but it’s actually much more complicated than it should be because of the computer systems we’re given and the way this is structured nationally)
  • Process the ‘Consult With Us Online’ requests patients submit through our website.

So there’s a lot going on!

Our team try not to answer the phone when working on the front desk where possible, so that they can be available for patients coming in. However, there is a large administrative area ‘back of house’ where our team answer the phone. We can have anything from two to seven people answering the phones at any one time, dependent on our staffing levels.