You have probably noticed that it can difficult to get through on our telephones, and for that we apologise. We have made some adaptations to the call handling system and are in discussions regarding an upgrade to the system for better functionality.

In the meantime, and in the name of modernisation, we are looking at how we can reduce telephone traffic in an era of other forms of communication. We’d like to remind you of the online services ( ) which have proved immensely popular with all those using it; there’s even an app now so you can book appointments and repeat medications from your smartphone.

Other than encouraging use of the online service, we can’t influence the volume of incoming calls, however we can moderate how many outgoing calls we make, freeing up the lines. This month we are trialling a system using MJOG, the text –based system you are already familiar with for appointment reminders. Simple communications such as “there is a prescription ready for you to collect“ or  ”please book with the healthcare assistants for a blood test” will be sent by MJOG to the mobile number you have provided us. We can tell at our end if the text has been delivered (unlike with a letter!) and only if the delivery is unsuccessful, will we send a letter with the information instead. Clearly, providing us with an up to date mobile number ensures you don’t miss out. Please feel free to use our comments and suggestions submission form to provide is with these details for everyone in your household.

Hopefully, by improving efficiency at our end, we can make your experience as a service user more rewarding.