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New phone system

Note for patients: our phoneline is working correctly – you now hear an engaged tone if our phonelines and queue is full. Please hang up and redial later, if you hear our engaged tone. Please avoid emailing or coming to the front desk to ask about the phone system, as it means we can’t help other patients as quickly as we’d like. Our reception team is fully staffed and we’re answering as many calls as we can. Health professionals: please do pass on this information, if any of your patients ask about it.

Following feedback from patients, we put a new phone system in place on 1 March 2023.

Thanks to increased support from NHS Lothian (whose phone system we’re given to use) and BT (who provide the phone system) we were able to make some changes that patients were asking for. Our phone system now mirrors what’s in place at other local Practices.

Patients don’t need to do anything different – you should still ring 0300 790 6266:

  • from 8am Monday-Friday to book same-day appointments with a GP or the CWIC service – including for medication reviews.
  • after 10am Monday-Friday to book all other appointments and for any other queries – the quietest time is late afternoon

The changes include:

  • Engaged tone that lets you know when our phonelines & queue are full: please hang up and re-dial, if you hear the engaged tone
  • When you enter the queue you’ll hear the new call countdown feature – this lets you know what number you are in the queue
  • Options 1 & 2 removed – to make things simpler
  • New, more useful messages while you’re on hold

BT and NHS Lothian helped us to design the new system, then we tested it with a group of patients and took their feedback on board.

These changes are about making the experience you have when you call us as straightforward as possible – not about reducing wait times or increasing appointment availability. For more information about how we and the East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership are trying to improve these things please read our reports at

We continue to monitor the impact of these changes to our phone system – and feedback from patients – carefully. If you have any feedback about the new phone system, you can fill in this online form or ask for a hard copy form at Reception – thank you for taking the time to pass on your thoughts.

Please fill in the form thinking about the point up to when your call was answered.

New Phone System Feedback
I preferred hearing an engaged tone, rather than the old system that cut me off if the Practice phonelines were full
I found the new ‘number in queue’ countdown feature useful
The messages I listened to while I was on hold had useful information in them
I could easily hear the messages telling me what number I was in the queue
I could easily hear all of the other messages
I prefer the new phone system to what was in place before
0 of 100 max words

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