Telephone Access

Here’s what we’ve been doing to improve our call waiting times, and a log of our call figures to show how we’re doing. We hope that by monitoring this, and being transparent with patients that we can provide improved patient access and experience.

Information is displayed chronologically, with the oldest information at the bottom of this page.

December 2022 Telephone Survey Results

Overview of 2022 Call Data So Far

We’re proud to be able to show that as of August 2022, we are achieving our target of an average waiting time of under 3 minutes! We hope this means our patients will find contacting the practice by phone to be quick and convenient.

We will continue monitoring and sharing our call data to make sure that we are continuing to achieve this standard.

Our next target is to ensure that 95% or more of incoming calls are answered first time. A call is counted as ‘missed’ if a caller puts the phone down before their call is answered by a member of the admin team. Although we are much closer to our target than at the start of the year, we are continuing to look at ways that we can tweak our processes in order to meet our target and provide an even better patient experience!

One area that we’ve identified is that Mondays are consistently busy and we are struggling to meet our targets. We’re currently looking at ways that we can tackle this to ensure that patients have the same level of telephone access throughout the week.

MonthAverage answer time (mins and seconds)Number of callsNumber answeredNumber Missed% Answered
January 20225:5976225923137678%
February 20226:4180115979165775%
March 20228:28100547070257470%
April 20226:0084126386177176%
May 20225:2998337484216276%
June 20226:2894066775245472%
July 20226:2893076851229274%
August 20222:2794828301106088%
September 20221:059453889649694%
October 20221:319636879477291%

August 2022 (Phone Figures)

As part of our ongoing work to improve patient access and reduce our phone waiting times, we’re committed to being transparent with patients. We aim to publish weekly phone figures so that patients who are interested can keep up with our progress and can rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to make it quick and easy to contact the practice.

DateAverage answer time (mins and seconds)Number of callsNumber answeredNumber Missed% Answered
Tuesday 30/08/202201:524934454490%
Weekly Phone Figures August bank Holiday Week Commencing 29th August

Please note that ‘missed’ calls refer to any call where someone has put the phone down before they get through to us. We are currently aiming to keep the percentage answered above 95%.

August 2022 (Average Wait Times)

We’re proud to announce that in August, we exceeded our target of having an average phone waiting time of under 3 minutes! We hope this means our patients will find contacting the practice by phone to be quick and convenient.

Below are the average phone waiting times and number of calls taken in August compared to July this year:

Average Call Waiting Times6 minutes 28 seconds2 minutes 27 seconds
Total Number of Calls 68518301

Summer 2022 vs Summer 2021 Call Figures

Phone waiting times are being monitored closely and average waiting times are shared twice daily with all staff members for transparency.

Here’s how we’re doing now compared to this time last year:

Please note that percentage of calls answered relates to how many calls are picked up without the caller hanging up and deciding to try again or call back later, or try to contact the practice in a different way.

 Number of Calls Taken% Calls answeredAverage phone wait time
May 20217440608 min 40
May 20227484765 min 29
 Number of Calls Taken% Calls answeredAverage phone wait time
June 20216528589 min 17
June 20226775726 min 28

This year, we have also shortened our introductory phone message to reduce the amount of time our patients wait to get through to us. The original message was over 1 minute long whilst the current message is 30 seconds.

We have also continued to recruit more admin team members to act as a buffer and reduce the impact of staff sickness and holidays on staffing levels and therefore phone wait times.

Call waiting times are also monitored continually throughout the day so that we can pull staff from other tasks onto the phones during busy phone times.


Patient feedback about queue messaging was taken on board, so the number of queue position updates were increased from ‘you are more than 5 in the queue’ up to ‘you are more than 10 in the queue’.

Phone settings were changed so that the calls automatically try to come through to all phones at once, rather than each incoming call bouncing around from phone to phone.

In admin meetings the admin members were asked to:
Keep their phone ringers on loud to ensure that everyone can hear when calls are coming through.
Be extra considerate when leaving their seat to ensure adequate phone cover before getting up to make a drink etc.

Senior members of secretarial and management staff were required to answer calls every day at busiest times, especially between 8:30 and 11am.


The new phone system was installed. This meant that patients no longer got a busy tone when dialing the practice, and could be updated as to where they are in the phone queue.

In March, the COVID Pandemic hit and the practice tried its best to keep the phones adequately staffed despite having waves of staff off needing to isolate. Staff were set up with an app to be able to make and answer calls on the practice phone line from home if needed when they were isolating. This was to ensure that covid isolation had the smallest impact possible on phone waiting times.


Poor phone access was reported on the GP Patient Survey in mid 2019. Meetings with the phone provider did not result in an appropriate solution.

The practice paid out the remainder of the existing phone contract and paid for a new state-of-the-art phone system with unlimited incoming phone lines and a queuing system.