Located in the city of Cardiff, Meddygfa Canna Surgery provides healthcare services to around 7,500 patients covering a broad demographic of wealthy and lower income areas with a low average age for patients.
Christopher Williams, Practice Manager at Meddygfa Canna Surgery, describes the issues that led them to seek a new telephony system: "There were a lot of issues we needed to fix. The surgery has experienced a number of phone systems, but we have found all to be limiting in some way. We were limited to 8 lines with 2 of these lines held for outbound calls in case of an emergency. As a Practice Manager I needed to plan when I could make calls. Pre-COVID our GPs would have their early morning appointments in the practice and would start to triage their telephone patients, so I would wait for the morning rush of calls which gave me a window of time to make my outbound calls before the GPs used the lines.
"Connectivity was always a problem. Our previous system couldn't handle the volume of calls and every week the lines would go down; this would be reported but too many times we would be without a phone system for days. We would also battle with the poor quality of the calls and most importantly there was no business continuity. We would have to call our provider to put a divert onto one of the mobiles to allow calls to be received.
"The Welsh NHS have set a target of 90% of all calls to be answered within 2 minutes but we had no way of measuring our performance, so we had to invest in additional software to extract the call data. We later found out the software was counting from when a call connected, not from when the welcome message ended, along with including calls outside our opening times.
"We spoke to our previous provider and told them about these issues and all they could offer was to add more lines which in turn increased our monthly rental. There were annual licence costs, SIP trunking costs, call recording costs and if we went over the monthly call bundle… more costs, so we never knew what we were paying each month.
"We had no way of working remotely; if GPs needed to work away from the surgery they would withhold their mobile or landline number, which meant calls weren't recorded, and too many times the patients ended up with the GP's personal number."
Surgery Connect employs Contact Centre features honed for healthcare by feedback from professionals using the service. It's being deployed to replace legacy systems right across the NHS, providing unlimited lines and capacity ensuring patients get through even during peak times. Practice staff can function fully from any location, interacting with the patient and the phone system just as if they are in the practice with all calls recorded and data logged.
As Christopher describes, when Meddygfa Canna Surgery initially deployed Surgery Connect they "used the softphones which freed up lines for inbound calls, the GPs loved the fact they could get an outbound line without needing to wait for a line, the calls were recorded and the practice caller ID was always shown. When it came to going live with the handsets all of my staff were very comfortable using Surgery Connect, which meant there was very little training needed. My GPs continue to use the softphones."
Christopher agrees that Surgery Connect provide value for money as "there are no upfront costs and X-on helped us buyout our contract, which was a sizeable amount, and after a few weeks with X-on I would have paid this out of my own pocket to move to Surgery Connect, we are so happy with the move. We aren't charged for making changes to our set-up or outgoing messages, and the support desk are always helpful. For example, they helped me set-up two call flows, one for Welsh speakers and the other in English."
Christopher has found the comprehensive reporting extremely useful in running the practice and efficiently deploying resources, along with the user consoles which provide easy-to-use full control over the system and the call flow.
Meddygfa Canna Surgery Says
"My reception team, GPs and our patients are very happy we moved to Surgery Connect. It's been a positive step forward and it'll grow and adapt with the surgery.
"I would recommend Surgery Connect as the whole process has been very stress free, and because X-on are very experienced in delivering their product it's skillfully managed from signing the agreement, to setting up the softphone, and when we went live most of my staff hadn't realised they could start using their handsets!
"X-on were always helpful during implementation of the service and after go-live."
Meddygfa Canna Surgery
For further information on Surgery Connect please call Sales on 0333 332 0000.