Taking the NHS into the Cloud: Our journey so far...

For NHS Trusts, finding home working solutions for their back-of-house staff and supporting departments has been both an essential and significant leap. The COVID-19 crisis has meant those solutions needed to be determined, sourced, and deployed fast, and with no blueprint for this unprecedented situation, the pressure has been intense.

In April 2020, we published an article on how we have been working with numerous NHS Trusts, setting up a series of Hosted Contact Centres to enable their call handlers and specialist divisions to respond effectively to COVID-19. In this blog post, we will be looking at 3 examples of key NHS Trusts and how we have helped them overcome the challenges and restrictions of the pandemic. From Hosted Contact Centres, to Inbound Number solutions tailor-made for the NHS.

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Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust required a helpline to offer support to their mainline staff during the pandemic. All specialists working on the helpline were qualified volunteers, and therefore, had a high number of staff working various hours remotely. In addition, the solution had to be live within just 5 working days, as some volunteers were using their personal phones for calls with no way to hide their private number. It was, therefore, imperative that these details were kept protected.

Working closely with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Telecoms World were able to actively meet all of their requirements, providing a Cloud-based Hosted Contact Centre Solution with an 0300 number within the five days specified. All remote workers were provided with secure login credentials so they could log in from any device including their mobile while masking their personal details. Administrators were provided with training so they could add and remove volunteers to remain within budget.

“Our telephony solutions can be set up to work with the end user’s own landline telephone and/or their personal mobile phone. We offer a range of telephone numbers for including 0300 numbers reserved specifically for charity and not-for-profit organisations. We’re finding that 0300 365 is popular with NHS Trusts as they are operated 365 days of the year.” - Keith Bird, Head of UK Sales, Telecoms World


How do Hosted Contact Centres work?

Hosted Contact Centres work the same way as regular call handling systems, with the difference being they are based in the cloud. A traditional contact centre comprises of several call handlers in one building, each with a telephone, and all of which are accessed through calling just one number. Each call would be distributed through a switchboard and passed to which ever operator was next in line to take a call. This process can now be managed, seamlessly, in the cloud and set up to provide Management with the same analytics and reporting functionality found with a traditional system.

The system can be tailored according to the requirements of the organisation. For the NHS Trusts, call handlers are assigned a grade according to their skill level. The hosted telephone system is set up to automatically distribute calls between call handlers based on their grade, with the highest skill-rating receiving the most calls.  

Call Handlers can log in using a username and password and the system registers them as ‘active’. They then select to receive calls on their landline or mobile phone. When they log out, the system takes them offline and distributes calls elsewhere. This feature is particularly useful for organisations where call handlers have a secondary role and who, therefore, are only available intermittently. Management can easily track who and how many operators are active at any given time.

“Working with Telecoms World, setting up our remote team was straightforward. We provided Telecoms World with a spreadsheet containing the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of our agents along with their skill grading and set the parameters for the analytics we required. Within a matter of days, a fully operational Hosted Contact Centre has been set up, tested, and our team was receiving calls.” - IT Project Manager, NHS Foundation Trust

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NHS Shetland required a remote working telephony solution to support vulnerable patients in the local community during COVID-19. All the nurses within the care group were required to engage with patients by logging in to a system from home and continue their service via telephone calls. It was crucial that the personal telephone details of all NHS staff were protected during this time.

Telecoms World built a Cloud-based VoIP Phone System with multi-users and local Shetland numbers. 0300 Inbound Number solutions were created to route calls to actively working staff, ensuring that no calls were directed to their personal telephone. In addition, a Dial-Out Mobile Application was provided so that all outgoing calls made by staff displayed an 0300 number to protect their personal details with inclusive minutes to fit with NHS Shetland budget requirements.


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Barts Health NHS Trust required a secure and efficient employee helpline to support their mainline staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer helpline staff required a protected inbound solution, enabling them to work effectively using their mobile devices from home, whilst not displaying their personal mobile number when processing calls.

To support the Trust in achieving their goals, an effective Inbound Smart Call Routing solution was implemented, using a freephone 0800 number for all dedicated helpline volunteers. All admin staff were provided with secure login credentials, enabling them to log in from any internet-enabled device to update the status of volunteers when they were able to work, and when they could make and receive calls. This created a highly flexible and protected solution to fully cater to the Trusts requirements.

“COVID-19 hit fast and we’re all having to respond to the crisis with unprecedented speed, none more so than the NHS. They’re having to move outside of their usual procurement procedures to get the systems they need. I suspect as a result, when this crisis has passed, the procurement landscape will have changed, not only for the Trusts, but for other organisations too.

Traditional contact centres can’t compete with this type of flexibility and functionality, and with the advanced reporting features, management is able to retain a comprehensive overview of their team’s performance. Then there’s the cost-saving elements! So, I predict we’re going to see a drastic shift in the way call centres operate from here on.”
- Keith Bird, Head of UK Sales, Telecoms World

Telecoms World is a Tier 1 network carrier of telecoms solutions and a Crown Commercial Service supplier. With more than eighteen years’ experience, we are proud of our diverse range of hosted telecoms solutions and display a 5 Star Trustpilot score based on more than one thousand client reviews.

For further information on our Hosted Contact Centre solution and to take advantage of our reduced pricing for NHS Trusts with prioritised deployment, please contact Keith Bird to discuss your requirements on 0800 774 7772 or email keith@telecomsworld.com

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