Uxbridge Road practice introduces 24 hour automated system
The Shepherd’s Bush Medical Centre on Uxbridge Road has announced that they are upgrading an automated phone appointment system enabling patients to call the practice at any time to check, book or cancel their appointments.
The system, known as Patient Partner, is due to go live at the surgery on Monday 13 January.
With around 3,400 patients on the practice register, the partners at the centre have installed the new phone service to improve flexibility and access for patients with the aim of enhancing their overall experience. It is currently installed at around 600 GP practices across the UK.
“Patient Partner has been designed to help ease call congestion by giving patients more choice in when they can call,” explains Practice Manager Parulata Dave. “This also reduces pressure on our receptionist and frees up phone lines at traditionally busier times of day for important queries and emergencies.”
Patients call the surgery’s usual number and select option one, entering their date of birth for security purposes. The system is then able to detect spaces in the doctors’ and nurses’ diaries, allowing the patient to choose the appointment time which suits them best by pressing a button on their touch tone phone.
“We realise that some patients may prefer to book appointments in the traditional way and they may continue to do so if they wish,” comments Mrs Dave. “However, by providing this round the clock service, we can offer greater flexibility for all our patients, including those who work unsociable hours. We also believe that it will free up valuable time for our receptionists to attend to patient care.”
According to the Department of Health, 1 in 10 health appointments were missed during 2011. With each GP appointment costing an estimated £18, these missed appointments (DNAs) cost the NHS millions of pounds every year.
“Patient Partner was developed to help with the issue of DNAs,” explains Stefan Olsberg, Managing Director of Voice Connect who developed the Patient Partner system. “By making it easier to contact the surgery, we hope that the upgraded system will help to diminish the number of wasted appointments which has to be good news for patients.”
You can find more information about the the new system at Voice Connect
January 7, 2014