Patchs Telephone Assistant Onboarding

Dr Ben Brown
Dr Ben Brown
  • Updated

Welcome to the Patchs Telephone Assistant

We’re delighted that you are joining us in helping to revolutionise access to primary care with the Patchs Telephone Assistant.

If you would like to arrange a kick-off meeting with the Patchs product team to discuss the Telephone Assistant in advance of going live, please email us at

To get up and running on the Patchs Telephone Assistant please follow these steps:


  1. Review the clinical safety case report: to ensure you are aware of the risks in when using the Telephone Assistant.
  2. Raise awareness of the Patchs Telephone Assistant with staff
    • Guides are available for practices and patients, as well as FAQs
    • Staff will need to know:
      • How to respond to patients who have questions about the Telephone Assistant 
      • How to direct patients to the service
      • How to support patients that cannot use the service
      • How to review and respond to requests from Telephone Assistant from the Patchs inbox
    • Here is a potential script for receptionists to use with patients: Patchs TA Reception Scripts.docx

Before Go-live

  1. Try a test patient: enable the Telephone Assistant and try a test patient following the instructions here.
  2. Set up call diversion on your telephone system to Telephone Assistant: We will contact you separately to provide you with your new dedicated Telephone Assistant number.
  3. Record a message advertising the Telephone Assistant on your telephone system:
    • 💡Tips: This message the crucial factor in determining uptake of the Telephone Assistant by patients. We've found that patients are more likely to choose the Telephone Assistant option if the message is:
      • Near the beginning of your call flow. Patients are more likely to choose it if it's one of the the first things they hear when they call your practice.
      • Recorded by a senior GP (not a robot!)
      • Upbeat and positive!
      • Also played when patients are on hold in your telephone queue. Allowing patients to also select the Telephone Assistant whilst they are waiting in the telephone queue also increases uptake.
    •  Here is some example wording you can use:
      • "Hello it's Dr X here one of the GP partners. I'm pleased to announce that at X Medical Practice we're trialling a brand new service where instead of having to wait in a queue to speak to a receptionist, you can just leave us a voice message using our Telephone Assistant and we'll get back to you ASAP. To try this exciting new service and save yourself some time please choose option 1.
      • “Hello it's Dr X - one of the GP partners. To avoid waiting on hold, registered patients over the age of 16 can now leave a voice message using our Telephone Assistant and we will respond as soon as possible. If you would like to leave a voice message select option 1 otherwise please continue to hold.”
  4. Tell us your go live date: please email us at to tell us when you plan to go live. We can then monitor and support you through the process.

Letting patients know

Soft or hard launch, or somewhere in-between? You need to do what is right for you and your practice in terms of balancing getting good patient numbers and not getting too overwhelmed whilst familiarising yourself with the technology.

You can choose to start at any of these levels and move through them at your own pace:

  1. Soft launch: simply put the call diversion message on your telephony system and see how many patients come through (this can be capped using the Patchs request limiter). The conversion rate from patients diverting is likely to be low as patients may be interested in it, but they do not know what to expect and may not be ready to use it at that point.
  2. Semi-soft launch: show your patient groups and patients coming into the practice how to use the system to encourage take up and set their expectations. Give them access to these resources: Patchs TA Patient Information.docxPatchs TA Flyer.pdf.
  3. Medium launch: send out a message to all your patients using Patchs bulk messages to make them aware of the new service and how to use it (using the resources above).
  4. Hard launch: if you're a fully digital first practice then you may just want to force patients to use the Telephone Assistant and not provide them a choice. In this case you would make that clear in your telephony message and tell them that reception is there just to support them in using the digital services.

Go-live day checklist

  1. Set the limits on the Patchs Telephone Assistant.
  2. Enable call diversion on your telephone system. If you have set your limits for the Telephone Assistant low we suggest not enabling call diversion until after the morning rush to avoid patients getting frustrated if they are filled quickly.
  3. You’re ready to go!

Post Go-live

We want you to have a great experience with the Telephone Assistant, so please email to send us feedback or ask for help at any point.

You can turn off Telephone Assistant any time by removing the call diversion and setting the demand limit to zero.

Was this article helpful?