3 February 2021
We wanted to introduce you to our Reception team.
These are the faces behind the voices you hear, every time you call the Practice.
This team do a phenomenal job. Last year they:
- answered 80,000 phone calls
- arranged almost 100,000 appointments with our doctors, nurses and other specialist health professionals
- organised over 20,000 prescriptions
The team is led by Chris, our Clinical Services Manager, who has recently joined us from NHS 24. Chris was also previously an A&E Charge Nurse at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh: his clinical experience will help the team to direct you to the right care as quickly as possible. Chris is ably supported by Rachel and Lauren, our two team leads. They’ve both been with us for a long time and know pretty much everything there is to know about how the Practice runs!
We knew we needed to recruit more call handlers, to decrease the amount of time you wait to speak to us at busy times of the day. We’re pleased to say that we have eight new team members, following this recruitment process. The work this team does is complex and it takes around three months before a new team member is fully trained – so it might take a little while before we start to see our average wait time dropping to a place we’re happy with.
What our Reception team does
The team’s number one priority is making sure our patients get the care they need, as quickly as possible and in the most convenient location. Sometimes that might mean booking you an appointment with one of our thirteen GPs, and at other times arranging for you to see a more appropriate team member, for example one of our five General Practice Nurses or our General Practice Paramedic.
The team can also direct you straight to specialist services run by the East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership at the Musselburgh Primary Care Centre, without you needing to see a GP. CWIC, mental health services, physiotherapy and community nursing are just a few of the services they’re able to direct patients to.
The team’s day starts bright and early at 7am, when some members of the team arrive in the Practice and set everything up. Throughout the day there are a huge variety of things the team oversees: manning the phones takes priority in the morning, our busiest time, while the afternoon (when the phone are quieter) are a time to process prescriptions and deal with some of the thousands of pieces of medical correspondence we receive every week. The final person doesn’t usually clock off until 7pm, once the duty doctor has seen their last patient of the day.
We know it can be challenging at times to get through to the Practice on the phone, but are committed to improving this as much as we possibly can. Recruiting so many new Reception staff is just the first step – we’ll keep you updated on other new initiatives soon.