More than 120 GP practices in London and Greater Manchester have deployed a telephony solution from X-on.

Around 80 GP practices within North London Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) catchment and all 36 practices in Stockport, Greater Manchester, have moved to the cloud-based Surgery Connect.

Surgery Connect provides a number of services including its “queue busting” which allows patients to call back to book an appointment rather than waiting on hold; video support during consultations; support for remote working of practice staff; and integration of patient record systems.

Hardip Kahlon, senior programme manager at North Central London CCG, said: “The technology has made day-to-day practice management easier, and also for doctors when they want to dial out to contact a patient as they no longer have to work around a limited number of phone lines.

“Patients are benefiting too as they no longer experience an engaged line when trying to book a call at a busy time for the practice, but can retain their place in the queue by getting a call back for an appointment.”

Within the Greater Manchester area, Stockport practices had been looking for a new cloud telephony system to replace legacy systems operating on existing Community of Internet Network (COIN) infrastructure.

Paul Stevens, executive officer at Stockport Local Medical Committee, added: “Staff were able to work from laptops using softphone support while self-isolating at home, answering patient calls allowing the practice to continue to provide a service and remain open.

“The move to Surgery Connect has been a very positive development for Stockport general practices, enabling them to respond to the pandemic in a way that they would not have been able to if they had not made the move. In a difficult period of time, we’ve collectively delivered something that is now reaping dividends.”

The deployments mean an estimated one million patients are supported by the system, taking X-on’s total patient base to 8.5million people served by 835 practices in England and Wales.

Paul Bensley, chief executive officer at X-on, said: “In the last eighteen months primary care has faced its own particular challenges in meeting the healthcare needs of patients, requiring it to be highly adaptable and versatile.

“Implementing a cloud-based telephony system that draws on innovative, contemporary technology is an essential component in providing a modern, flexible, multi-function platform that enables patients and practices to communicate quickly and effortlessly.”