“We’ve got a better phone system and patients have got better access to services – it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Steven Moss, Facilities Services Manager, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
With four main hospitals serving North Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust treats well over 1 million patients per year. At busy sites like these, free taxi phones provide an essential service to patients and visitors, but they can also prove a major headache for site managers.
“We’re a Trust with four different hospitals, so we weren’t just dealing with one taxi operator, we were dealing with several,” explains Steven Moss, the Facilities Services Manager. “By moving to Infopoint, they take on all that work.
“In some areas, the taxi phones were very popular and taxi firms were keen to have a free phone put in,” he continues. “But on some of the sites, they weren’t so willing. Infopoint have managed to make sure we have the same level of service at each of our hospitals.”
Infopoint began by putting two sites out to tender, overseeing the vetting and selection of taxi providers who would offer the required standard of service. At the remaining sites, Infopoint made a new deal with the incumbent taxi operator, putting a new contract and service level agreement (SLA) in place.
Throughout the hospitals, the existing low-quality taxi free phones were replaced with high-quality, highly visible Infopoint units. These multibutton help points provide not only taxi services but also free calling to a range of useful help and advice lines, from travel information to NHS 111, improving patient engagement and access to services.
Infopoint took on complete responsibility for the taxi requirements of the entire Trust, not only installing and maintaining the new help points but also providing ongoing management of the taxi providers. Should it become necessary to switch provider, Infopoint can effect the change without the Trust having to go though a lengthy procurement process. More importantly, Infopoint now act as a buffer between the Trust and all issues arising from taxi operator performance.
“In the past, there was sometimes friction between two different taxi firms,” explains Steven Moss. “We also had people complaining to us about the free phone taxi services. By having a contract directly with the taxi firm, we became responsible for the service that was provided. Now Infopoint deal with any issues that come up without us having to get involved.”
“I have to say, the Infopoint phones are far better than our old taxi free phones. They provide additional services that weren’t available before and the fact that they’re displayed so prominently helps patients and visitors to find them,” says Stephen Moss. “We’ve got a better phone system and patients have got better access to taxis and other services, so it seems like it’s a win-win for everyone.”