Stonehouse business comes to aid of embattled GP surgery
By Andrew Merrell | 18th March 2020
Patients at a Gloucester GP surgery needing to reach their doctors during the current coronavirus crisis were given a much needed tonic by a Gloucestershire business.
Of course, Lister Unified Communications likes to think all of its customers are 'number one', but as the shadow of Covid19 fell across the county it moved Brockworth Surgery to the top of its 'to do list'.
As discreet as the telecommunications expert thought it had been, its efforts to keep the surgery in contact with as many patients as possible through the crisis drew public praise on Facebook from the "extremely busy" GP practice.
"Telephone engineers were on site at the Brockworth Surgery at 7.30 this morning (March 17) and ten new phones have been installed. Brockworth surgery recognises and wishes to thank Lister Unified Communication for such a rapid response and professional job in our community time of need," said the post into the Brockworth First Facebook group.
"Their efforts mean that the doctors ringing out will no longer block lines for patients phoning in.
"As you can imagine, through the news networks and social media, our working conditions and all health facilities work load has significantly changed and increased.
"As anticipated, Doctors and staff are extremely busy again today so please, in advance, if effected, accept our apologies if call back are taking longer than expected, this is unavoidable but necessary to achieve best care working practice, and incoming phone calls are once again significantly increased, please, we petition you to remain patient!!!!!"
Rob Lister, managing director of Lister Unified Communications, said he was extremely flattered by the praise for his staff's efforts, but was adamant his company was simply doing its job.
He did admit that in the context of the coronavirus, and recognising Brockworth Surgery's importance to its community, the Stonehouse-headquartered business had made the GP practice an extra special case.
"They are an existing customer and we have been talking very recently about how they can improve what they do. In light of what is going on we decided they needed to go to the top of the queue," said Mr Lister (pictured).
"They have moved everything they do onto the cloud which has given them much better capacity and better options, which should allow it to give its customers an ever better service."
Brockworth Surgery's praise, posted onto the Facebook social media channel by parish councillor Chris Evans, went on to indicate just what kind of a situation it was dealing with.
"Our staff are wearing face masks at present, this is a necessary precaution to protect both staff and YOU from picking up an infection.
"The waiting room has fewer chairs to increase the distance between people if you do have to come in and wait.
"Patients will be asked to remain in cars if they have them, until the time of the appointment and then be phoned to come in.
"We reiterate that Respiratory patients will be brought into our isolation rooms via the side doors. No patients will be turned away however all patients will be telephone triaged first.
"Patients with routine appointments will be contacted to advise them if appointment is going ahead by phone or to come in. The surgery will be closed from 1pm - 2pm for staff updates but telephones will still be answered.
"Please look out for you neighbours and do not hesitate to contact the surgery if you are concerned about anyone.
"Please where possible, visit the government help lines, keep up with current news bulletins, local media, remain vigilant and observe the hygiene steps that are advised. Above all else, look out for each other, take care and be safe."
Mr Lister said his own company had taken measures to ensure staff remained as safe as possible, adopting a work-from-home routine that also allowed them to serve all of their customers - but it was otherwise 'business as usual'.
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