Avaya’s Contact Center Solution Breathes Life into NHS Call Handling

Avaya and FourNet team up to provide South Central Ambulance Services with a flexible CCaaS to prioritize emergency calls

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Published: February 15, 2024

Rhys Fisher

Few contact center positions come with more pressure than 111 and 999 call handlers.  

The ability to seamlessly flit between multiple calls of varying severity on-the-fly and provide the necessary support can literally be the difference between life and death.  

As such, speed and flexibility is crucial. Recognizing this, the South Central Ambulance Services (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust sought a tailored, robust contact center solution. 

That’s critical. After all, as a 24/7 emergency ambulance service covering four English counties with a combined population of over seven million, the SCAS receives more than 500,000 emergency calls a year.  

To adequately deal with this volume of calls, the company had to handle 111 (non-emergency) and 999 (emergency) calls within the same technical infrastructure and operational units.  

This was essential, as agents required as seamless a transition as possible when rapidly reorienting from 111 calls to sudden incoming 999 calls.  

The flexibility and blended nature of what the SCAS required was beyond the remit of off-the-shelf solutions, resulting in the business having to provide a bespoke tool that allowed managers and supervisors to react to changing situations easily and efficiently. 

To create the tailored solution, Avaya worked with FourNet – a long-term partner and specialist in cloud services, with experience and expertise in working with the UK’s ambulance trusts – to achieve the following: 

  • Implement seamless remote working to enable SCAS to recruit the best employees regardless of location. 
  • Streamline overall architecture. 
  • Incorporate specialist features and capabilities. 
  • Introduce blended 111/999 call-handling.  

In discussing FourNet’s role in delivering the solution, Ben Ryland – Head of Public Sector at FourNet – commented: 

“FourNet helped SCAS gain recognition for delivering world-class quality care through digital technologies and information, setting the blueprint to enable other trusts to follow in its footsteps as quickly and effectively as possible.”

The Right Tool for the Job

Outlining the issues and changes required to resolve them is always a good start, but to bring the solution to life, Avaya looked to Engelbart Software’s esuits2 applications framework. 

The framework allowed Avaya to meet the SCAS’s specific requirements and even push the solution beyond the original plan.  

In the end, the combination of Avaya, FourNet, and Engelbart produced a tailored blended contact center platform that has transformed the SCA’s customer service department.  

Indeed, it allows agents to comfortably handle emergency calls during peak hours, alongside the providing the following value points: 

  • Innovation support to enable SCAS digital transformation goals. 
  • Improved patient experience by mitigating the impact of answering times. 
  • Enhanced comms-screen providing full operational overview and status visibility between agent and supervisor. 
  • Upgraded supervisor functionality, including listening into existing calls, changing skill/role assignment, changing agent status, remote agent logout, and replay of recorded calls for agents. 

Chris Hayden, Telecoms Manager at SCAS, was full of praise for the tool: 

“With help from FourNet and its partners, we ended up with a solution that fulfills our needs and more. The management and team leaders now have much more control and visibility over their agents than previously, and they are now able to manage the various contact center behaviors much more effectively.”

More pointedly, this success story showcases that Avaya and its partners are not content with pushing a one-size-fits-all solution. They understand the nuances that individual companies contain and are willing to put in the work to provide the best possible tool for their clients.   

Find out more about the contact center products and solutions that Avaya provides by visiting their website today.  

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