Cleevelands Medical Centre

swcomms installs a new cloud-hosted telephone system for a GP surgery in Cheltenham and improves their call answering statistics in the process.

Seven Posts Surgery was moving into its new purpose-built medical centre and adopting a new name, Cleevelands Medical Centre. The telephony services at their existing site were inadequate, so the practice manager was looking for a solution that would suit their state-of-the-art new building and would be capable of dealing with high volumes of calls from their growing patient list.


We recommended our Gamma Horizon cloud-hosted telephone system to meet their relocation needs. Ideal for the requirements of a busy GP surgery, it is feature-rich but is also very cost-effective. There was no upfront capital required as it is paid for on a per-user, per-month basis. These payments include all line rental, support and upgrade costs, while calls to UK landlines and mobiles are free. This can represent a considerable saving when GPs are making outgoing calls on telephone appointments.


Our cloud-hosted telephone system also offers an automated attendant to answer every call and to queue them when necessary. This feature was enhanced by the increased number of lines our solution offered, so more calls can be handled at the same time. This means patients are never left frustrated by hearing the engaged tone and know their call is being dealt with. The fact the telephone system could easily expand too, with the addition of new handsets and licences, was also very important to Cleevelands as they expected their patient list to grow.


A cloud-hosted telephone system offers in-built business continuity options with the ability to set up diverts to other numbers, including mobiles, in the event of an outage. It is easy to manage via a web-based portal, so staff can remotely set recorded greetings messages, even if they cannot get into the building, e.g. during heavy snow. The portal also offers live and historic statistics on call queues, length and time to answer, as well as missed calls, so the practice manager can effectively manage staff and performance.


A cloud-hosted telephone system is delivered on an internet connection to negate the need for costly and inflexible ISDN lines, but there were no internet connections available. We priced up the installation and dig costs of a new leased line, but the surgery did not have the budget. It also wasn’t possible to use the new HSCN connection that the surgery had for data use, as call quality would have been compromised. As a carrier neutral supplier, we were able to speak to all the carriers in the area and managed to find capacity from Virgin that gave them the suitable connectivity they needed. This meant we could roll out the solution, and train its users, in time for the new surgery’s opening date.


Since opening the surgery and using the new telephone system, Cleevelands’ call answering statistics have drastically improved and the surgery is now primed to grow their patient list to 15,000.


“We switched to swcomms as part of our relocation into a new purpose-built medical centre and are so glad that we chose them. We did not know what we really needed when we first approached swcomms. Their advisor listened to our needs and made several recommendations for us, which we accepted in their entirety. His experience and advice were invaluable.

“Our whole relocation had many challenges and problems. One of the only aspects which went really well was the installation of our phone system. This was thanks to the meticulously project management and support which they provided. Once the order was placed with swcomms, they dealt with everything and overcame many of the significant problems which we faced. Our ‘go-live’ date could not have gone any better. It was seamless without a single call being missed. We had brilliant support on the first few days in our new medical centre and have continued to receive this support ever since.


“We have just seen the results from the 2019 GP Patient Survey. Our call handling has gone from one of the worst in our CCG to one of the best. swcomms has helped us to achieve this improvement by providing us with such a good system. I would recommend any practice manager who is thinking about upgrading their phone system or is relocating to at least ask swcomms to provide a quote.
Richard Vakis-Lowe, practice manager


Download case study here or see our guide to general practice telephony below.

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