Working with Ambulance Trusts to provide Next Generation 999 during Covid
This ambulance service is part of the National Health Service (NHS) and responds to 999 calls from the public, urgent calls from healthcare professionals and provides NHS 111 services across the region.
The trust has over 3,000 staff working across 110 sites. Almost 90 per cent of its workforce is made up of operational staff – those caring for patients either face to face, or over the phone through an emergency dispatch centre. The trusts patients range from the critically ill and injured who need specialist treatment, to those with minor healthcare needs who can be treated at home or in the community.
Square Mile Territory
The Trust set out a 5-year plan for improvement which included making sure that its technology was fit for purpose and able to provide safe and consistent care to its communities.
The ambulance service handles 999 calls, urgent requests from healthcare professionals, and non-emergency 111 services across parts of England. A recent NextGen 999 upgrade of its technology platforms and contact centres, delivered by FourNet, had already given the service remote working capabilities for contact centre staff. As the coronavirus forced UK lockdown, many 111 agents were switched to remote working. But they also required additional callback services because of soaring call volumes, needed to relocate some staff to comply with social distancing, and wanted IT staff enabled to work from home.
Within 48 hours, FourNet had enabled remote working for clinical and contact centre staff and had delivered additional Avaya One-X Agent licences and service support to allow their agents and IT team to work from home. Despite the constraints caused by lockdown and unprecedented call volumes, non-emergency 111 call handlers were switched smoothly to remote working. Additional SIP channels allowed office-based staff to comply with social distancing and manage the significant increase in call volumes by undertaking critical services from office areas without the usual infrastructure to support traditional wired PC/Desk phones.
Blue light customers were an important priority for us during the coronavirus pandemic. FourNet was determined to pull out all the stops to make sure that key workers were enabled to work from home, where possible, and to do our best to support those in critical sectors to help protect people from the virus.
We are proud to have worked extremely closely with emergency service providers to ensure that their urgent requests got the special care and attention they deserved.
Head of Public Sector, FourNet
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