Victoria Medical Centre boss apologises as surgery received 3,800 calls a day

A medical centre boss has apologised after complaints from patients over phone waiting times - but said the practice was being inundated with thousands of calls a day.

Nigel Grinstead wrote a letter to all VMC patients on Monday, May 17, explaining the pressure the surgery had been under as they received 3,800 calls a day.

Mr Grinstead said, “As you are probably aware, we recently installed a new telephone system that should ultimately alleviate the problem, but it is unfortunate that the installation of the new system coincided with the end of a significant change in the lockdown process and instead of around 500 calls per day, we actually received around 3,800 calls a day.

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“A significant number of these calls were linked with the easing of lockdown restrictions as well as a significant number of our patients wishing to visit our practices.”

Victoria Medical Centre (VMC) Vaccination Clinic inside The Beacon shopping centre in Eastbourne. SUS-210901-143419001

The CEO of VMC said the surgery could have been able to deal with the number of calls but were also receiving ‘several thousand’ from other practices that were unable to cope with the delivery of vaccinations, according to Mr Grinstead.

Mr Grinstead said, “In the meantime, we can only apologise for the poor performance of our system and wish to reassure you that we have put steps in place to rectify it and the situation has already improved with waiting times being sampled routinely and an average waiting time received yesterday of nine minutes.

“Clearly, we still wish to improve on this but whilst COVID is still an ever present problem we may still experience some peaks and troughs in the short term.

“Please remember that our staff are trying their best and are here to help you so please be kind in these difficult times.

“Assuring you of our best intention to give you the service you should justly expect from us.”

To read about the surgery changing their phone system click here.