Successful first few months in new NHS 111 contact centre
The global pandemic has affected our lives in the most unusual ways, making us adapt to changes in the way we work and live our lives, often at very short notice and in line with changing guidance. In February, our contact centre in Bedford moved into a new, purpose-built office; a stone’s throw from the old one at Gilbert Hitchcock House. After an incredibly challenging year on the frontline, our colleagues are enjoying the new facilities at the Enhanced Services Centre.
The new location is spacious which allows ample social distancing and has great amenities. It has capacity to accommodate over 70 colleagues – both clinical and non-clinical NHS 111 call handlers as well as shift managers and other management colleagues. Head of NHS 111 Deb Payne said: “We have been planning this move for quite a long time, with management colleagues already moved to the new facilities at the end of last year, but the time was now right to move in completely. It has been such a wonderful experience for our colleagues to settle into these new modern premises as we get ready for the next steps on our journey to becoming an outstanding organisation.”
The improved facilities have come at a critical time for the service as NHS 111 call volumes have once again increased due to the ongoing pandemic and vaccination enquiries. During the first month, as many as 19,690 calls were taken from the new centre.
The wait has been worth it as the facilities are splendid. There is a lovely café on the ground floor of the building from which the staff can order lunch or takeaways. The work floor has a well-equipped kitchen, rest rooms with better facilities, shower room, and each colleague has their own locker, which is something that has been particularly appreciated. The management team are better situated alongside the call centre itself, which enables improved responsiveness and support for the workforce in real time.
It is really great to be able to provide the kind of working environment our incredibly hard working and dedicated colleagues deserve, and we are pleased that the move has gone so smoothly.