GP Surgery Requirements in Wales: We review the Access to in-hours GMS Services Standards and what impact this is due to have on Welsh Surgeries. (3-minute read)

As you may already be aware, the Welsh Government published a set of standards affecting the functionality of surgery telephony solutions to be in place by March 2021. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this deadline has been seen as “unrealistic” and has therefore been extended by a year. So, we have time in hand to get prepared before the revised deadline of March 2022.

To support our existing customers in achieving these standards as a minimum, we provided all our Welsh surgeries with a system audit and account appraisal. We even helped several surgeries who were not previously with us!

Why are we telling you this?

Now that the deadline has been extended, we’re also extending our offer of support to all of the surgeries in Wales! If we don’t already look after your surgery, we may be able to help you expand your solution to satisfy their requirements.

With our free, no obligation system audit, we can ascertain your existing configuration and any solution shortfalls. Once we have identified all areas for improvement, we can then work with you to plan a programme for implementing any changes required before neat year’s deadline.

We’ll also look to get you ahead of the PSTN Switch Off at the same time so you can be fully prepared for this and have one less thing to worry about!

What are the requirements?

The Access to in-hours GMS Services Standards require the following as a minimum in relation to appropriate telephony and call handling systems:

  • Call Queueing/Stacking: Provide a reduction in patient waiting times on the phones (90% of calls answered within 2 minutes of the end of the recorded message and less than 20% of calls abandoned), improve the patient experience and avoid the need for patients to call back multiple times.
  • Call Recording: Functionality to record both incoming and outgoing calls.
  • Auto-Attendant Recordings: Bilingual introductory messaging as well as signposting to other local, national and emergency services which then alleviates demand on the telephone system and reduces the need for appointments.
  • Call Analysis and Reporting: Capture, interrogate and report on both live and historic call data in order to inform service delivery and workforce planning.

How can we help you?

Depending on your requirements, we might be able to add to your existing configuration or investigate an upgrade to your solution. We can offer both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, or a blend of both, ensuring compliance, capability and resilience.

Please do not be put off by the fact that you may be in contract with another supplier as we can still work with you if you wish to improve your solution. Additionally, if you work in partnership with other sites or have multiple contracts with different suppliers, this is not a problem – we come across this frequently and we’re able to negotiate settlement figures with your current providers on your behalf. This may mean you can exit your contracts early to make improvements and still make cost savings.

What Roathwell Surgery (Cardiff) said:

We’ve been with Premier choice for the last year and when the new guidelines for Access came out from the Welsh Assembly government, I contacted Premier. I spoke to Darren initially and within a week our account manager Kevin came down to see us. He put everything in place that we needed and by the beginning of December, we will be compliant with the guidelines.

– Alyson, Practice Manager, November 2019.

What will happen next?

We would be more than happy to arrange for one of our Practice Consultants to speak with you regarding the changes you need to make. Please complete the form below so we can contact you:

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If you would like to contact us to arrange a consultation regarding the GP Surgery requirements in Wales, please call us on 02920 130 400 or email with the subject Welsh Assembly.