Changes to the Phone System

We would like to make you aware of some upcoming changes to our phone system.  Following patient feedback and a thorough review of our existing lines and systems, these changes will start to be implemented from Wednesday 23rd October 2019 onwards.

The most significant change is to the menu options within the phone system. In order to streamline calls through the system, the menu options have changed and we would ask you to listen carefully to the new options to ensure your call is routed correctly.

The new menu options are:

Option 1 will be for prescription ordering or queries

Option 2 will be for test results

Option 3 will be for appointments

Option 4 will be for queries relating to referrals, medical reports or other administrative areas

Option 5 will be for pre-recorded messages relating to practice information (opening times, how to provide feedback, parking, privacy notice etc.).


As part of this work, the separate phone systems at the St Mary’s and Sheepmarket sites have been joined together into one system.  However, there will be no change to the phone numbers you currently use to contact the practice (01780 764121 or 01780 437017).  These numbers will both take you into the new menu system and there are no plans to discontinue either of these numbers.  Patients have become familiar with both of these numbers and they will continue to work indefinitely.   

Obviously there are peaks of incoming call demand that are very difficult for us to manage.  These are  generally at the start of every day from 8am and when the prescription request line opens at 10am.  We  would politely please ask that patients calling with routine or non-urgent queries avoid calling the practice between 8.00am – 8.30am  and 10am – 10.30am when call volumes are at their highest.   We are looking to increase the opening hours of the prescription request line in the near future, as we are aware this is also an area of frustration to patients.  We hope by doing this we will be able to spread the volumes of prescription request calls we receive every day over a longer period, resulting in shorter call waiting times for patients.

We hope you will find these changes beneficial.

Published: Oct 19, 2019