Next-Gen solution for ambulance service
Urgent upgrade for ambulance system reaching end of life
The ambulance service trust has over 5,000 staff and covers more than 5,000 square miles. The service responds to 999 calls from the public, urgent calls from healthcare professionals and NHS non-emergency 111 services. Its ageing contact centre system was nearing end of life and urgent attention was required. The Trust also wanted to offer more services to patients, improve efficiency and resilience as well as call quality monitoring and recording. They wanted a solution, provided by FourNet, which would enable more agents to work from home, a feature which came into its own during the coronavirus pandemic.
999 calls handled each day
Square miles covered
The Trust has two Emergency Operations Centres and handles 111 calls from a separate contact centre. It operates more than 460 ambulances and handles around 4,000 999 calls every day, from 15 ambulance hubs across the region. The Trust’s contact centre solution was nearing end of life and required an upgrade, while a new Department of Health programme to replace outdated analogue radio and communications systems with a new digital Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP) service across all NHS Ambulance Trusts in England also meant that a change of telephony was needed. The Trust originally intended FourNet’s contact centre solution to cover just 999 call services. But after they took over NHS 111 calls from the previous handler, a similar contact centre solution was required for non-urgent 111 calls. This has enabled the trust to pool its resources and technology.
FourNet designed, built and implemented a best-of-breed Avaya contact centre solution, which allows the trust to easily manage contact centre agents and agent skills assignment, as well as contact centre supervisors, managers, users and administrators whilst also handling queues and call flows, holiday tables, announcements, service hours, time of day tables and policy routing tables. The comprehensive reporting platform provides real time and historic data which allows the client to provide management information (MI) reporting internally, but which meet national reporting requirements. FourNet provides 24:7 service desk support and proactive monitoring through its ITIL aligned ESP platform. This pro-active monitoring with self-healing means that problems can be averted and resolved with no manual intervention. FourNet also monitors third party supplier providers and platforms. The solution is 100% cloud-ready. As part of the deployment, FourNet has integrated the service into 3rd party SIP trunks which will allow the trust to migrate to cloud technology at their own pace. The solution has been designed so that the client is primed to deliver NextGen999 when it decides the time is right to do so. This could include offering webchat and video triage.
With the integration of 999 and 111 services we needed the most resilient solution possible, so that call handlers can deal with patients and not problems. FourNet’s solution allows us to pool resources and gives us full system reliability, but also enables some of our agents to work from home, which is an important feature for our staff and has proved crucial during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ambulance Service Trust
Our Next Gen technology has enabled the client to provide more services and incorporate 111 and 999 service call handling. The Trust has also been able to improve the experience of patients who can now get in touch using different methods of communication, while at the same time allowing staff greater opportunities to work from home without impacting the service.
Head of Public Sector, FourNet