Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C


The Suffolk firm helping to ease the pain of booking a doctor’s appointment

PUBLISHED: 11:16 20 September 2018

Doctor on phone - GettyImages-924090614

Doctor on phone - GettyImages-924090614

A Suffolk-based tech firm that aims to make the process of calling up the local doctor quicker and easier has just secured more than £1m of NHS contracts across the UK to provide cloud telephone services for surgeries.

X-on technology in action. Picture: X-onX-on technology in action. Picture: X-on

Although a lot of tech companies are focused on online bookings and apps, eight out of ten patients book their doctors appointments over the phone, according to the latest GP Patient Survey, and a third do not find the process easy.

Surgery Connect, a service provided by the Framlingham-based company X-on, is set up to tackle this problem by providing a system with many more phone lines, and a supporting contact centre that gives patients more chance of avoiding the ‘fastest finger lottery’ of getting through to their local surgery.

The system should help reduce appointment non-attendance, which are said to cost the NHS around £1bn every year.

X-on, which has a turnover this year of £5m, has just secured a contract worth £1m over three years with three NHS commissioning groups to deliver cloud-based telephone services across Worcestershire’s 60-plus GP surgeries.

X-on's Paul Bensley. Picture: Mark PalmerX-on's Paul Bensley. Picture: Mark Palmer

X-on has also just been awarded a contract to supply GP Telephony to the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation that plans, buys and oversees health services for more than 700,000 people living in Oxfordshire.

The company’s Surgery Connect system will gradually be deployed across approximately 94 GP sites and approximately 3,500 handsets.

Including the Worcestershire and Oxfordshire contracts, Surgery Connect is now being adopted as standard across six UK clinical commissioning groups covering more than 200 surgeries, with another three coming on-board before the end of the year.

Managing director Paul Bensley, who founded X-on in 2000, explained that his company started off as a hosting telephone company - because there was no such thing as a ‘cloud’ back then. “The plan was to provide a more clever phone services than BT,” he explained. “Over the last ten years, we have refocused our efforts on health markets and the NHS. We are a pioneer of cloud telephony in the UK.”

But although X-on has two surgeries in Essex, and a handful in Norfolk, it might seem strange that there are none as yet in it’s home county of Suffolk.

“Suffolk is behind the times with tech!” said Mr Bensley. “The host system location doesn’t make any difference. But we are focused on making ourselves the default provider of choice, so of course we would like to grow the business in Suffolk too.”

X-on, which currently has 40 staff, has taken on five more in the last month at its base in Framlingham Technology Centre, and is still in the process of recruiting.

Mr Bensley explained that with Surgery Connect, patients are able to manage their own appointments and benefit from more modern forms of seeing their doctor, such as through video consultations. “It allows practices to operate out of normal hours and enables practice managers to allocate resource more effectively to better meet demand. They can be phoned back, and doctors can call back patients to try to establish whether its serious and what needs to be done.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Worried neighbours in an Ipswich street claim brazen drug dealing is taking place in front of children returning home from school.

There is good news for bargain hunters in Stowmarket as a discount store bids to make a return to the town.

A 17-year-old youth accused of being involved in a fight in the car park of an Ipswich McDonald’s restaurant during which a 16-year-old boy was stabbed has admitted an offence of violent disorder.

Police are looking to speak to a man in connection with incidents of stalking in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich.

Families on the Ravenswood estate have spoken of their disappointment after it was announced Rudolph and Santa won’t be passing through their streets this year.

Ipswich singer/songwriter Richard Osborne - who records under his surname - Osborne, has a worldwide hit on his hands with his debut dance single.

MP Dr Dan Poulter has demanded that Mid Suffolk Council takes action to ensure there is no development on land at Brockford in his constituency without planning permission.

Strictly Come Dancing attracts millions of viewers every Saturday evening to the BBC and the show has breathed new life into what has been a popular pastime in Ipswich for decades.

A three vehicle crash on the A12 at Saxmundham caused traffic hold ups at lunchtime today.

David Button will lead by example as he joins more than 400 fundraisers to brave the wintry weather on Christmas morning and run into the sea at Felixstowe.

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24