A NOTORIOUS Worthing phone system known only as “The Gremlin” has been scrapped for a state-of-the-art 16-line system.
The £15,000 system has been installed in the GP surgery in Shelley Road, Worthing, to replace a temperamental one which had been known to keep patients waiting for nearly an hour before they were found.
The change-over comes as part of a simpler access for patients campaign with the surgery launching services to allow people to book appointments and repeat prescriptions online.
Senior ICT manager Mike Mangoro said: “Our old telephone system was very frustrating for patients and staff alike.
“Patients who called in could get lost in a holding pattern and we could not see that they were waiting.
“The system also developed a habit of cutting off callers midway through a conversation and on some occasions it would go on strike completely and refuse to accept outside calls.”
The new phones will also reduce the chance of patients hearing an engaged tone.
Dr Neil Iosson, a GP at the surgery, said: “I’m really excited by our new symptom checking advice line. We get a lot of calls from people with coughs and colds and other minor illnesses who want to check whether they need to see a doctor or whether their condition is self-limiting.
“This advice line allows them to listen to our common sense medical advice so that they can decide for themselves if they need to make an appointment.”