No need to wait on the phone!

Posted by: alanselwyn - Posted on:

person holding white Android smartphone in white shirt

Patchs Telephone Assistant will answer your call politely and pass your query to the doctor (or administrator).

We successfully piloted this system and have now changed it to the default on the phone – at least for a trial period whilst we get your feedback.

With a continuing shortage of receptionists it will help free them to complete their other important tasks in an efficient manner.
We will still give patients the choice to request a receptionist if you want as an option on the phone menu system but if you hold ’til the end of the greeting message, our Telephone Assistant will ask the same questions as the receptionist would. There will be no phone waiting (it can handle any number of calls at the same time) and you will not be paying for the call (we will!). You can take your time to answer normally.

Your call is recorded and so the doctor hears you speak your answers, as well as the system transcribing to text; hearing you is a great help. It’s much better than getting the receptionist to laboriously write down what you are saying whilst others are waiting to get through!

This innovative system – the first of its kind in general practice – is of course widely used by many organisations and is likely to be rolled out into other healthcare settings in the future to help with staff shortages and long telephone waits.

All our patient requests go through Patchs in order for us to best understand how to help patients in the most appropriate and speedy way. We look at all Patchs received within a few moments of receiving them and this allows us to respond rapidly to every request.

If you do wish to hold on the phone and there is a que, you can also use another feature of our digital phone system:

Patient callback’ . If the queue builds up you will be offered the choice to handnup and be called back; the system will automatically call you when your queue position is reached. You won’t be forgotten!

For medical or admin helpPatchs is the quickest way – most queries are responded to on the same day of receipt. PATCHS is not available from Fridays 6.30pm until Mondays 8am and on public holidays and at certain other times when we reach maximum safe working capacity. When we closed or Patchs is unavailable please access 111 by phone or online. Please use the extensive self-help advice on NHS.UK. It is available at all other times, so you have plenty of time to detail your problems.

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