South Worcestershire, Redditch and Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest CCGs are rolling out advanced cloud-based VOIP telephone services across the region’s GP surgeries.
The move will provide patients with easier access to healthcare, staff with the ability to work more efficiently and remotely, and doctors with a cost-effective platform to reduce DNAs and deliver new forms of consultation.
The three CCGs will be implementing Surgery Connect to replace many of the outdated and expensive phone systems that its member practices have in place.
This new technology will improve patient access and experience by making it easier for patients to get through to a GP, and allow them to manage their own appointments. This will help reduce appointment non-attendance, or DNAs, which are said to cost the NHS around £1bn every year.
James Harley, primary care IT lead for the CCGs “Joined up telephony was one of the priorities for our LDR. We saw that lots of GP practices were paying too much for their phone systems, which were often antiquated and did not have the functionality required to support new ways of working. With Surgery Connect, we saw that the system had been designed with GP input, and built to meet the needs of practices.”
The CCGs have used Estates and Technology Transformation Funding (ETTF) to support the rollout of the services, which is being led by the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. It is looking to start initial implementation in the summer with 16 practices, expanding to a total of 64 practices and 13 branch sites as old phone contracts run their course.