Team effort reduces call response times

The team at Ponteland Medical Group has worked together to achieve the call response times improvement.
The team at Ponteland Medical Group has worked together to achieve the call response times improvement.

Ponteland Medical Group, part of Northumbria Primary Care, has announced that it has improved call response times by 32.5 per cent in the last five months.

A great deal of effort has gone into reducing the average call response time following feedback from patients.

The issue of a number of patients being unhappy with the telephone system for appointments was mentioned in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report last year.

The practice says it has been able to make the improvements by working more flexibly and adapting to the needs of the population. Patients are now able to book or cancel appointments, request repeat prescriptions and even see investigation results online.

Even during one of the busiest winters the NHS has ever seen, Ponteland Medical Group has managed to reduce its longest response time by almost 90 per cent since July last year.

Dr Hannah Brown, one of its GPs, said: “Listening to our patients and understanding their experiences is very important to us – it provides invaluable insight on where we need to improve.

“Following feedback from the CQC last year, we assured patients we would work to resolve the problem with the call response times and improve the process of making an appointment by telephone.

“We would like to thank all our patients for their support while these issues were addressed and we will ensure more work is done to continually improve access and quality.

“We know that there is more work to do, but this is a very good start.”