I think we finally have the phone system working properly.
It's been a bit of a nightmare getting the phones to work, and although most people will not have noticed, I know some patients had occasional problems getting through to us. This is something that we take very seriously, because of course we want patients to be able to contact us quickly and easily in case of an emergency.
The problem with the phone system that we inherited from Dr Basu was that it was an old system that our engineer could not service. The way the system was set up, all of the extensions rang when there was an incoming call, including an extension bell in the back garden. Apart from the fact that this must have been driving our neighbours crazy, it is disruptive to have the telephone ringing all the time in the consulting room when you have a patient with you. Also, as we had decided to close over lunch, we needed a bypass number so that the GP on duty could call still into the practice when the answering machine was on. We were unable to reprogram the old system, as it was too old for our engineer to service, and even something as simple as connecting an answering machine to the old system was a major problem.
The new phone system arrived and was installed by the engineers the week before I left for my paternity leave, and seemed to be working ok. However, one patient quickly pointed out that the bypass system we were using (which meant patients had to key in a number to get through to reception) did not work if you had an old pulse phone. This was quickly sorted by splitting the phone lines, but once BT had done this for us, we started to notice occasional problems with patients not being able to get through to us, or staff not being able to get an outside line.
We have had the engineers back out to reprogram the system, and it appears to be working well now.
Do please let us know straight away if you notice any problems with the phone system, and apologies for any inconvenience that the teething problems may have caused.
As always, should there be a medical emergency and you are unable to contact us for any reason, then don't delay - please dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. If possible send someone to try and find the doctor at the surgery in hours, or at Strachur House or Manse Gardens out of hours.