A new phone system has been installed for Solihull patients, in the hope that it will make it easier to book an appointment with the GP. The new Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) phone system went live on February 14, in an attempt to improve patient access to appointments.
Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) operates seven surgeries, using the same management system and call center for more than 55,000 patients. Problems with its phone systems were said to have started after the SHP merger during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
The watchdog revealed in September 2021 that it had received “hundreds and hundreds” of reports from frustrated Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) patients about long wait times on the phone. Patients reported being stuck on hold with their GP for up to an hour, or not being able to communicate at all.
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But now, hope has come in the form of a new phone system, health chiefs say. An SHP spokesperson said: “As you may know, we have been working hard to improve the experience we provide for patients when they contact us by phone by reconfiguring our flow of calls and audio messages.
“We are pleased to announce that the new phone day for patients will be live from Tuesday 14he February 2023, and we’re excited to introduce a new phone call flow process with shorter wait times, concise and relevant announcements, and fewer menu options.
“The feedback we received from SHP’s Patient Involvement Group (PPG) during testing has been invaluable in providing us with information and patient input to further improve call flow. As a result of SHP PPG’s feedback, we have conducted additional improvements”.
SHP Phone System Enhancements:
- Creation of two new call centers for test results and prescriptions.
- Tailor audio announcements and comfort messages to be specific to patient needs
- Change the audio announcement to the state press 2 for appointments or cancellations, and
- Music on hold update after a selection of music options presented
The bosses said that while they are “excited” to launch their new calling system this week, they will continually monitor progress so they can make changes.
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