James Cook to get automated switchboard

The James Cook switchboard will become a voice automated system for both James Cook and Friarage hospitals from tomorrow evening (Tuesday 6 December).

Initially this system will only handle internal calls. The plan is to run the system internally for a few weeks before it goes live across both sites with external calls.

The voice activated system will change how you access the switchboard operators.  After 6 December when dialling “0” you will be connected to the new Contact Portal system.

How to use the internal system

When you are using the system you can:

  1. Ask for the name of the person or department you require
  2. Ask the system to bleep or page then the name of the person you require

Staff can still dial extensions direct and page / bleep as normal.

For both sites, if calls cannot be handled via the voice automated system the call will default to an operator at James Cook, who will have access to directories for both sites.

In order for calls to reach the relevant person it is critical that the extension number is correct.

The directory will only be as good as the information in it so if the recognition software isn’t working for you, report it to the switchboard – click here to download a change details form.  

During the start-up we will be fine tuning the voice recognition software.  If the system cannot recognise the person or department you will be given the option to dial the operator.

Help us make the system work:

  • Be aware that the intranet phonebook and the switchboard aren’t linked, they both run from different systems, this is been looked at under active directory and one directory will be available next year – in the meantime you must update your details with the switchboard by emailing switchboardsupervisors@carillionplc.com  and then update the intranet phone book.
  • If you are on call, switchboard should have your details, however for on call staff at Friarage and James Cook please ensure that the James Cook switchboard have your on call details if they change.
  • If a department has a separate number for out of hours – switchboard will no longer be able to change these extensions – staff must divert calls before they leave site – this is a service that will no longer be offered through the switchboard, please contact Laura Mills if any department would like to discuss this further on extension 54657 (JCUH).
  • Staff must use the intranet directory before phoning “0”.
  • All appointment letters / patient letters MUST NOT have 01642 850850 they must have a direct dial number on.

Telephone shortcuts that may help

  • To put a divert on is #9 the number to be diverted and listen for the acknowledgment tone
  • To take the divert off is ##9
  • To override a divert is *5 then the extension

Friarage emergency calls and team bleeps will continue to be handled at the Friarage until we go live externally. There will be a further briefing when we roll this out to external calls over the next few weeks.

If anyone has any questions please contact Laura Mills on extension 54657 (JCUH), or laura.mills@stees.nhs.uk.

When you call the switchboard on “0”,  if you know the number of the person or ward you are ringing, you can now enter the number directly.

Please make sure that your details are updated with the James Cook switchboard – click here to download a change details form