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Procuring a cutting-edge communications system for Worcestershire GPs

We procured the ideal solution for GP practices across Worcestershire wanting to upgrade and transfer their communication systems.

Background
When GP surgeries across Worcestershire came together with a need to transfer their communication systems, they called on us to deliver a robust and tailored solution.

We aimed to source a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution to help manage calls, patients, and staff through their own configuration consoles, along with tools to support a flexible, mobile workforce and deliver business continuity in the event of damage to a building or circuit. The project’s high-level aspirations included:

  • VoIP based solution with resilient cloud-based or centrally hosted solution with high service availability
  • Improved functionality to enable customised interactive voice response, messages and recordings, call recording and monitoring, call forwarding, ‘follow me’ functionality, teleconference facilities and enhanced reporting functionality
  • Integration with existing EMIS software applications
  • Reduction in hardware requirements, including introduction of soft phones where appropriate
  • Allocation of equipment to the CCGs, with invoicing by the end of the financial year.

Action
We held soft market testing events to gain intelligence on the viability of the outcomes required by the GP surgeries. These also enthused the potential marketplace to engage in the forthcoming procurement.

We used the Crown Commercial Services RM1045 framework, which gave us a swift effective route to conduct a mini competition with specialist, motivated suppliers. The specification and tailored question bank we created gave suppliers clear understanding of our requirements and flexibility to create a solution to meet the GP surgeries’ needs.

Impact
The result was strong interest from the marketplace and one solution from Maintel Europe achieved an exceptionally high evaluation score. As well as proposing an excellent technical solution, Maintel Europe partnered with X-on, who integrated their ‘Surgery Connect’ into the offering.

The commercial solution achieved the project’s aspirations and came in significantly below the project budget, offering excellent value for money to the GP surgeries.

“The installation of the phone systems across our sites went well with no major incidents. All the surgeries are benefiting from a line for each handset and the cheaper call tariffs. This means we are able to cancel mobile phones we had because of the lack of lines in our surgeries. Also the report and live states service is a great service and equips the sites with reliable up to date information. “
Gavin Canty, IT Project Manager, NHS Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group

“The EMIS integration is extremely useful – we run GP first triage so make many phone calls to patients during a working day. Being able to reliably dial with one click saves lots of time for GPs – and avoids errors with dialling on traditional handsets. It provides a seamless way of contacting the patient from the clinical system in EMIS. There are also benefits for receptionists with the system identifying patients dialling from their phone number.”
Dr Roy Williams, GP in the user estate

“I am impressed with the level of detail provided in the specification documents from the CSU which enabled us to provide a comprehensive bid whilst focusing on clear benefits to the GP practices. I am extremely passionate about the framework, finding it rewarding to ensure that our customers and sub-contractors are comfortable with the process and requirements, which I believe leads to a successful relationship for all parties involved.”
Mandi Wood, Public Sector Account Manager, Maintel Europe

“The procurement process was governed in a fair, equitable and professional manner, our knowledge and confidence in public sector procurement has been enhanced by the experience.”
Paul Bensley | Managing Director, X-on