Thames Avenue

Advanced Telephony


Difficulties in getting through to primary care services via telephone are a widely reported problem across the country. The NHS England South East Region Primary Care Transformation Team commissioned Redmoor Health to support Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and GP practices in their region to optimise the use of their chosen telephony systems, for the benefit of the regional patient population. The PCNs and GP practices were all at different stages in their journey, with some having had products in place for a long time, compared to others who were only just getting set up.


Staff at Thames Avenue Surgery which has 5,990 patients, had not had much training on the telephony system when they first started using it. As a result, the call-back feature wasn’t switched on or configured and they were also having trouble downloading and understanding their call data. The issues with their phones were resulting in patients making complaints to GPs such as:

  • Patients being cut off when they get to number one in the queue
  • The length of wait times
  • Patients getting caught in the queue even if the phones were off

The GP practice was also unable to see their call data distributed in days and was unable to identify staff through their ID in the data.


Redmoor Health was asked to help the GP practice understand how they can use their data to make relevant changes and improve their processes such as call flows, call queuing and callbacks to support access and demand. Redmoor Health’s programme management and coordination included:

  • Development and delivery of webinars
  • 1:1 sessions with the PCNs and GP practices
  • Training sessions on understanding data, and process mapping
  • ‘Cheat sheets’ for staff to assist with best use of telephone systems
  • Reviewed telephone data and call flows


Redmoor Health shared details of the Better Purchasing Framework Specification so the practice could check their system includes all the features they needed. The support offered also included:

It was recommended that the G Thames Avenue Surgery use care navigation messaging during call queuing and opening messages on the phone line, such as promoting online services for booking appointments and ordering prescriptions, NHS 111 and pharmacy as an alternative. They also mentioned the opening times of phone lines in the menu option rather than in the opening message.
It can be difficult for patients to remember the opening times of phone lines when they’re explained in the opening message along with lots of other information.

Call backs
Redmoor Health explained what callbacks were and the benefits for both a GP practice and patients. Thames Avenue Surgery explained that they didn’t have this feature but weren’t aware if they could get access to it. Redmoor Health recommended getting in touch with their Telephony provider for more details on this.

Thames Avenue Surgery has now spoken to their provider about the call-back functionality. The function was already built into their system, but it needed to be enabled. It is now also in their contract at no extra cost, the GP practice is going to switch on this function once staff have completed the necessary training.


Suzan from Thames Avenue Surgery said:

“Having the 1:1 session with Redmoor Health has certainly made us think about our telephone system in more depth and where our issues currently lie. Redmoor Health has been able to analyse our data and has given us valuable feedback as to what improvements could be made. Perhaps more importantly, Redmoor has highlighted the importance of telecom providers being able to meet national cloud-based telephony specifications and NHS terms and conditions. We have a number of issues to raise with our supplier following this 1:1 session.

Thanks to Redmoor we feel more armed to be able to question our supplier on the specifications and we know what data we should be able to extract from the telephone system to better understand the demand so that we can improve access for our patients. “Thanks so much, Anna for your help, it was lovely working with you all.”

Whether it is by training and helping you use and embed technology, showcasing the great work you are doing, or helping you learn from experiences we have been part of elsewhere. Contact us to see how we can transform your digital practice.