News : Appointments Simpler with New Contact Centre
Nov 20, 2013 -- Family Planning has today launched stage one of a three stage plan to make its services easier to access – and clients can expect more new developments in 2014.
A Client Contact Centre, based at its Hamilton office, has gone live this morning and is taking calls for the nine Auckland clinics and the clinic in Whangarei. After just two hours this morning, more than 130 calls had been answered and 50 appointments made.
Chief executive Jackie Edmond says the Client Contact Centre is the first step in plans to make Family Planning services more widely available.
"Planning is already well underway for the next steps which will include a telephone nurse advice service and internet-based appointments," Ms Edmond says.
Calls to some South Island Clinics will switch to the Client Contact Centre in mid-December with those in the remainder of the North Island switching over in 2014.
"Centralised appointment making has real advantages for our clients – their calls are answered more quickly and the centre will be open for more hours each day – some clients told us they preferred to ring after normal business hours. And, for clients in centres such as Auckland where we have a number of clinics – we’re able to offer clients the chance to attend another of our clinics if an appointment is available more quickly," Ms Edmond says.
"Our focus is particularly on young people and making sure they can get appointments where, when and how they need them. We have already introduced drop in appointments across all our clinics so young people can be seen without the need to make an appointment and the Client Contact Centre is the next step in this process."
Ms Edmond says the organisation’s decision to invest in making its services more accessible, is in line with the Health Select Committee report released this week, which among other things recommends quicker and more widespread access to sexual and reproductive health services.
"Family Planning was 77 years old last month – and we have a long history of being a sexual and reproductive health provider. We are very good at what we do – our challenge is to keep adapting our clinical practises and client services to a rapidly changing environment and customer base."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013