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Our Single Point of Access means parents’ and carers’ calls are handled quicker and it’s now easier than ever to get advice

A specialist service designed to make it easier for parents and carers to contact and seek advice in Wiltshire has seen our caller waiting times fall by more than a half in just 12 months.

The Single Point of Access (SPA) service was put in place for Wiltshire’s parents and carers to seek health support and advice.

New figures show they now wait on average 33 seconds before their call is answered – a dramatic drop compared to the average of 78 seconds in October 2018.

Importantly, the service – which handles 50,000 calls a year – means patients and service users now need only call one number to access advice and support about any of the services provided by us on behalf of the NHS and Wiltshire Council.

Specially trained professionals handle the enquiries, making sure they are passed on to the most appropriate service.

This ensures young people and their families get the right help from the right people at the right time.

Before the service was launched 18 months ago, parents and carers often had to get in touch with a range of services directly to get the help they needed.

This often led to families having to provide the same information to a number of different people on the phone at different times.

Now they only need to call 0300 247 0090 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday to tell their story once.

The Single Point of Access service formed part of our original proposal when it bid to run Wiltshire’s Children Community Services.

Since then, its development has formed a key plank of its improvement and action plan, which is geared towards improving patient experience and bringing in more modern and effective ways of working.

Val Scrase, Managing Director of Wiltshire Children’s Community Services said: “I am extremely proud of the team who have worked so hard to make the SPA a success by making such positive changes to the way people access our services.

“It is not just a call centre, it is a source of advice and information about local services and support agencies. The team has developed into a valuable centre for knowledge which can direct people to the right place first time. This saves parents and carers having to do all the leg work and spend hours investigating and chasing the most appropriate services for their child.

“Alongside this signposting, the team can also enable families to access same day Duty Clinicians for selected services, offer information on the location and frequency of clinics, support the completion of referrals, take requests for repeat medication or medical supplies and take requests to cancel or change booked appointments.

We provide Children’s community health services across the county from public health nursing (also known as health visiting and school nursing), to specialist support for children and young people with physical, sensory or learning needs and disabilities.

You can contact our Wiltshire Single Point of Access by:

Telephone: 0300 247 0090 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Email: vcl.wiltshirespa@nhs.net

Post: Virgin Care Services Limited,

1st Floor, Technology House,

Unit 10, High Post Business Park,

Salisbury SP4 6AT

For more information about the services that we provide in Wiltshire go to:

https://wiltshirechildrensservices.co.uk/

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