Paul Bensley X-on CEO - Improvements in GP's telephone systems will drive the future of GP-patient communication in Wales

Paul Bensley

Telephone Improvements for Wales

Wales puts Telephone Improvements at Heart of New GP Standards

Improvements in GP's telephone systems and processes will drive the future improvement of GP-patient communication in Wales, after a recent announcement by health policy makers.

Faced with a fall in GP satisfaction and an increase in reported difficulties in making appointments through the recent National Survey, the Welsh Government has set out new standards for what people should expect when need to consult a GP.

Wales puts Telephone Improvements at Heart of New GP Standards

The standards state that people should receive a prompt response to their contact with a GP practice via telephone, and practices have the appropriate telephony systems in place to support the needs of people. This will help avoid the need to call back multiple times - the so-called 'fastest finger lottery'. The standards also say that people should be able to use a range of options to contact their GP practice.

These are all positive statements, and we have heard from many of our customers of how they have improved patient access by using more advanced VOIP telephony, which provides multiple telephone lines and supports multiple means of communication.

The Survey also showed that 46% of people said they could not get an appointment at a convenient time, as it was difficult getting through on the phone. Whilst it shows room for improvement, it also echoes the fact that most people still use the phone to book appointments.

It is good to see that GP surgeries in Wales will be looking to prioritise a good phone service, alongside other ways of getting through, so that patients have a positive experience of their GP services.

People across the UK are generally very positive about the care they receive from their family doctor – and rightly so. With the right telephone and communication technology in place, accessing that care can be just as positive.