UCLH calls Telewest Business to answer the needs of millions of callers to new hospital

London 06 December 2005University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Telewest Business to introduce an advanced communications infrastructure that will control the incoming voice traffic to its new multi-million pound hospital. The hospital was officially opened in June 2005 and is the flagship hospital for the government's health care reforms in the United Kingdom.


UCLH NHS Foundation Trust's 6000 staff people provide patient treatment to over 60.000 in-patients and 450.000 outpatient appointments in an average year across the United Kingdom. As one of the largest hospital groups in the country it receives more than 1,2 million inbound calls a month.

The introduction of an advanced call management infrastructure built on Telewest Business' SRS Advanced Solutions has enabled UCLH to launch a single "0845" contact number to control the millions of inbound enquiries it receives. Calls to UCLH were previously handled by multi-site contact centres with independent switchboards, based at its eight hospitals, the majority of which will now be located under one roof.

The system will help UCLH reduce call handling inefficiencies and minimise caller frustrations by ensuring calls are accurately routed to the right department. Previously a caller ringing the wrong number for information and being asked to redial was a common occurrence.

"To ensure our much coveted 3 star rating which marks UCLH as a leading NHS trust in the country, we must ensure the efficient and timely response to inbound calls", stated George Hodson, Telecoms Manager, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust. "Handling the millions of calls we get at UCLH is a complex challenge and the resilience of our communications infrastructure had to be guaranteed. Telewest Business has been able to provide us with a secure and flexible virtual telephony solution which means we don't have to pay for costly equipment. These savings can be invested back into the NHS."

Less complex enquiries received by UCLH will also be handled through Telewest's SRS Advanced Solutions services that can be simply updated and managed centrally. This includes providing callers with information on hospital location and giving them the ability to bleep a member of staff directly or book out-patient appointments. In the event of a major incident, announcements can be uploaded and back-up plans can be activated at the click of a button. This will free up contact centre staff to deal with more complex public enquiries.

"Our ability to handle tens of millions of calls each month means that we can keep pace with the needs of UCLH", stated Christopher Small, Director for Public Sector, Telewest Business. "Our SRS Advanced Solutions have been designed to give a high-level of functionality that multi-site organisations need to intelligently control their voice traffic. This is backed by our advanced national network and over ten years' experience in the telephony services market."

Using an interactive Web interface, Telewest Business’ SRS Advanced Solutions enable organisations to define, modify, copy, activate and display call routing plans in real time. The call routing infrastructure offers a wide range of voice solutions including complex routing, on-line statistics, on-line control, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and other network-based services that give tighter control over voice traffic.

Leslie Versweyveld

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