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Hosted Contact Centres – Taking the NHS into the Cloud

April 15, 2020
Samuel Diamond

COVID-19 has forced Britain to change the way it works, moving from centralised offices to remote working. For many companies, large and small, this has presented a series of challenges, not least of which has been arranging the technology to meet the demands of each staff member’s role. Arguably, in spite of having internal support structures such as dedicated IT Departments, the larger the organisation, the more cumbersome the adaptations can be to deploy.  

Telecoms World Plc has been changing that.

For NHS Trusts, finding home working solutions for their back-of-house staff and supporting departments has been both an essential and significant leap. The COVID-19 crisis has meant those solutions needed to be determined, sourced and deployed fast. With no blueprint for this unprecedented situation, the pressure has been intense. Telecoms World is working with a number of NHS Trusts, setting up a series of Hosted Contact Centres. This has enabled their call handlers to access all the departments they would typically need, from Accounts to IT Support, as well as specialist divisions being set up in response to COVID-19, such as therapy lines for frontline staff bearing the psychological brunt of caring for overwhelming numbers of patients.

Hosted Contact Centres work the same way as regular call handling systems, with the difference being they are based in the cloud. A traditional contact centre comprises of a number of call handlers in one building, each with a telephone, and all of which are accessed through calling just one number. Each call would be distributed through a switchboard and passed to which ever operator was next in line to take a call. This process can now be managed, seamlessly, in the cloud and set up to provide Management with the same analytics and reporting functionality found with a traditional system.

The system can be tailored according to the requirements of the organisation. For the NHS Trusts, call handlers are assigned a grade according to their skill level. The hosted telephone system is set up to automatically distribute calls between call handlers based on their grade, with the highest skill-rating receiving the most calls.  

Call Handlers can log in using a username and password and the system registers them as ‘active’. They then select to receive calls on their landline or mobile phone. When they log out, the system takes them offline and distributes calls elsewhere. This feature is particularly useful for organisations where call handlers have a secondary role and who, therefore, are only available intermittently. Management can easily track who and how many operators are active at any given time.

“Our telephony solutions can be set up to work with the end user’s own landline telephone and/or their personal mobile phone. We offer a range of telephone numbers for including 0300 numbers reserved specifically for charity and not-for-profit organisations. We’re finding that 0300 365 is popular with NHS Trusts as they are operated 365 days of the year.” - Keith Bird, Head of UK Sales

Hosted Contact Centres can be set up to play announcement messages, record calls, enable queuing, provide queue exceptions and call-back functionality, and because it’s cloud-based, this allows for mid-call transfers without the requirement for a secondary line.

“Being able to transfer calls without interruption and with the same process as working in an office is one of the key features of a Hosted Contact Centre. The operator hits the * key and a dashboard will show them whether the person they are trying to contact is online and available. If they are, the operator enters that contact’s extension number and transfers the call. The caller would not notice any difference in the process. Furthermore, extension numbers can be assigned to mirror those found in the office. - Samuel Diamond, Projects Director

For Management, comprehensive reporting and analytics are available, the parameters of which they have complete control over. Calls can be monitored and recorded, logs of calls and missed calls can be made. Management can identify which operators are handling the highest/lowest number of calls, call duration, and the number of missed calls per user. This allows departments to identify caller trends, handler efficiency, and where and when more operators are needed. If an operator misses a predetermined number of calls consecutively, the system will log them out and send an alert to the management team, allowing them to identify any particular areas for concern. Reports will identify missed calls so they can be followed up.  

“Working with Telecoms World, setting up our remote team was straightforward. We provided Telecoms World with a spreadsheet containing the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of our agents along with their skill grading and set the parameters for the analytics we required. Within a matter of days, a fully operational Hosted Contact Centre has been set up, tested, and our team was receiving calls.” - IT Project Manager . NHS Foundation Trust
“COVID-19 hit fast and we’re all having to respond to the crisis with unprecedented speed, none more so than the NHS. They’re having to move outside of their usual procurement procedures to get the systems they need. I suspect as a result, when this crisis has passed, the procurement landscape will have changed, not only for the Trusts, but for other organisations too. There is almost endless scope to build out this solution to incorporate more users, to provide analysis predications for efficient workforce planning, incorporate multiple channels including SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, or add video conferencing. You can take this global too with calls optimally routed to reduce latency and incorporate messaging apps to send in a variety of languages according to your contact’s geographical location. Traditional contact centres can’t compete with this type of flexibility and functionality, and with the advanced reporting features, management is able to retain a comprehensive overview of their team’s performance. Then there’s the cost-saving elements! So, I predict we’re going to see a drastic shift in the way call centres operate from here on.” - Keith Bird, Head of UK Sales
Hosted contact centre service for the NHS

Telecoms World Plc is a Tier 1 network carrier of telecoms solutions and a Crown Commercial Service supplier. With more than eighteen years of experience, we are proud our diverse range of hosted telecoms solutions and display a 5 Star Trustpilot score based on more than one thousand client reviews.

For further information on our Hosted Contact Centre and to take advantage of our reduced pricing for NHS Trusts with prioritised deployment, please contact Keith Bird to discuss your requirements on 0203 538 7047 or email