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 About The Arch Medical Practice 

The Arch Medical Practice is a five-partner medical practice, serving the healthcare needs of patients in and around Hulme, in Manchester. It has one main surgery based in the heart of Hulme, serving the needs of over 18,000 patients. 

The Starting Point 

The telecoms system is the heart of communications for The Arch Medical Practice. The practice receives upwards of 300 calls a day. Previously the practice relied on a six-line IP system. However, the advent of Covid-19 meant that the current system was not fit for purpose. As consultations switched to being held remotely, 12+ GPs and nursing staff needed a line to conduct virtual appointments every day. This resulted in lines becoming unavailable and patients not being able to contact the practice. 

The practice needed a fast solution that could be easily implemented to support the new ways in which the GPs and administrative staff were working. 

The CCG approached Charterhouse and provided details to The Arch who engaged with Charterhouse, an established and innovative provider of IT and communications solutions. Since its inception 25 years ago, internationally renowned organisations have trusted Charterhouse to design, provision and support the technology that underpins their operations.

The new proposition 

Charterhouse recommended that The Arch Medical Practice introduce Cloudya, a cloud telephony system and the core product of NFON AG, a European provider of voice-centric business communications from the cloud. 

Cloudya would provide the system and added features to enable The Arch Medical Practice to both communicate effectively and serve patients in a modern way. The plug and play system meant that the practice could immediately scale with new call demands and complement the new ways that staff were working. 

“Our telecoms system worked adequately prior to the pandemic – then, almost overnight, our requirements changed, and we needed a new solution that could address our challenges, fast. Charterhouse understood our need for expediency, and we were impressed with how easily Cloudya could be deployed and the functionality it could deliver.”

 Sharon McQuillan, Practice Business Manager

The Benefits

The key benefit of deploying Cloudya was that all staff could access and enjoy reliable telephony and, crucially, there were spare lines available so patients could contact the practice. Added functionality included key call analytics and added dashboard data to increase efficiency. 

This included the ability to monitor call volumes and ‘reasons’ for calls, so that staff could be used more effectively. New functionality included being able to develop and segment lines for particular functions, such as prescribing, improving the patient experience, by reducing waiting times and immediately directing to the right team. 

Additional benefits of the new system include mobile integration, e-Fax and call recording functionality. Staff working remotely could access all the functions of their telephone system via their smartphone or laptop. 

Through NFON’s NRecording solution, users could also record calls as needed, providing The Arch Medical Practice with important call information for quality assurance. It is customisable by extension and recordings can be sent in .wav or MP3 format via email. 

The NFON cloud telephone system equipped The Arch Medical Practice with: 

• An enhanced telephony service that could complement the existing system 

• Access to 150+ advanced PBX features as standard 

• Over 16 user licences deployed in total 

• Rapid implementation of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) capability to all mobile users 

• Successful rollout and user adoption supported by the ease-of- use of technology and NFON’s familiarisation material 

• Heightened agility to cope with future upscaling/ downscaling requirements 

• Increased Smarter Working capabilities including greater mobility and virtual appointment capability. 

Delivery timescale

Charterhouse expertly addressed The Arch Medical Practice’s need for a fast installation and turnaround. It was completed on time and to budget. The Arch Medical Practice has been so pleased with the service and system that it is considering adding new premium services to the system in the future. 

“We have been thrilled with the service, from proposal to delivery. Charterhouse delivered us a solution that was specifically designed and dedicated to our needs. We have also been very pleased with the NFON technology – it’s resulted in very happy staff and patients. Looking forward we are considering some innovative applications, such as campaigns we can allocate to specific lines to measure their impact – such as seasonal flu. 

Very recently our surgery was hit by several Reception Team staff isolating due to covid-19. Charterhouse quickly stepped in and provided a phone line for all our surgery calls to be diverted to a group which enabled our Reception Team to work from home answering the surgery calls. This was completed within hours for us and avoided a situation where we didn’t have staff to answer the calls in the surgery due to covid-19. 

 Sharon McQuillan, Practice Business Manager

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