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North City News: CHELMSLEY WOOD - New line just tonic for centre.

THOUSANDS of patients at a Chelmsley Wood GP surgery will no longer be getting an engaged tone when they try to phone up.

After a series of complaints, Craig Croft Medical Centre, in Craig Croft, is installing a new "Surgery Line" this month.

The practice, which has more than 10,000 patients, blamed out-of-date phones for problems, but is hoping the new system will dramatically improve its service.

From February 25, the surgery's phone number will change to a low cost tarriff with different lines for various inquiries and emergencies.

It should mean calls to the receptionists becoming cheaper and quicker.

"With over 10,500 patients on our register, it can prove difficult for patients to contact us, particularly during the peak morning call time," said Jo Sheares, practice manager at Craig Croft.

"It can be very exasperating, especially if that patient has an emergency and all they can do is redial, which is both time-consuming and frustrating.

"The new system will route a patient directly to the department that they need to speak to, and should speed up the whole call handling process."

"We are always looking for ways to improve upon the service that we offer our patients," Jo added.

Patients phoning the old telephone number after February 25 will hear a recording with details of the new number that they need to call.

The new telephone number will be 0844 477 3047 from February 25.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 14, 2006
Words:238
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