Health

Mandy Kloppers

Booking a GP appointment could become painless thanks to new investment

Doctor

Patients are now able to book a doctor’s appointment without waiting on hold after the government agreed to invest £240m to move GP surgeries to the cloud.

Experts from TelephoneSystems.Cloud hailed the Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) decision to grant £240 million in funding to GP practices to adopt modern technologies and take some of the pain out of booking an appointment.

The new technology has already seen transformative care for patients who are no longer having to wait on hold or rush to book an appointment. 

 

The NHS England’s access to a primary care recovery plan will see practices given £240 million to take up the latest technology and replace the old, outdated, analogue phones with modern systems. 

The latest data shows that more than nine in ten practices in England have adopted the efficient cloud based telephone systems. 

The NHS also published changes to the GP Contracts for 2023/2024, which states that the cloud-based-telephone National Framework will be mandatory and only cloud-based solutions will be supported by the end of 2025. 

Juliet Moran, from TelephoneSystems.Cloud said: “The medical crisis has driven a need to implement changes in the NHS and GP phone systems are no exception. 

“Modern technologies and tools like cloud data and digital telephony will now enhance care and combat primary care issues. 

“These technological advances will offer significant opportunities to improve healthcare to scale, deliver quicker results and offer seamless services. 

“As practices are able to use the technology to receive, navigate, access, and respond to requests, patients will benefit from rapid assessments and responses which will cut wait times, capacity, and the dreaded 8am rush.”

Since the pandemic ended and restrictions were lifted, GP surgeries nationwide have been in turmoil, with patients struggling to contact their general practice and missing out on the care they need. 

While the pandemic accelerated technological change across the broader business sectors, until now, the NHS has lagged dangerously behind.

Any treatment on the NHS usually begins with a trip to the local GP practice followed by a face-to-face appointment, but COVID-19 highlighted the need for change when the system could not cope with a transition to remote care.

The disruption of ordinary care resulted in massive backlogs and longer patient waits. The latest data from 2024 shows that over 7.58 million people are on NHS waiting lists, compared to 4.43 million before the pandemic in February 2020.  

With waiting times remaining much higher than pre-Covid times, experts claim that the backlog will continue to take years to clear.  

Juliet Moran added: “The bottom line is that technology is constantly evolving, and will not wait for the NHS to catch up, so this funding is vital to modernise and improve services and accessibility, especially in primary care.

“The success of markets like cloud computing since the pandemic has demonstrated that technology can improve efficiency and productivity, and it is excellent to know that the NHS will soon enjoy its benefits.

“It is great to see that the government has recognised the role of technology in providing patient satisfaction and delivering on cutting down waiting lists.”

To find out more about new technology and cloud-based systems, please visit:https://telephonesystems.cloud/how-cloud-phones-work/

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