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Accredited supplier list for digital telephone systems has expanded

by Rima Evans
8 February 2024

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New suppliers have been added to the purchasing framework that GP practices can use to buy cloud-based telephone systems.

There are now 19 accredited suppliers listed on the Advanced telephony Better Purchasing Framework (BPf), which was updated at the start of February (see box below).

The BPf, published a year ago, is designed to provide practices and other buying organisations with added confidence when making purchasing decisions on cloud-based telephone systems.

It means practices can choose from a list of suppliers ‘who have been through early assurance’ and whose products have the required functionality, so they don’t have to go through the complicated process of finding vendors themselves. They also benefit from specialist support and advice from the NHS England’s National Commercial and Procurement Hub to help make the buying process simpler.

Surgeries on analogue systems were offered financial support to make the switch to a digital solution as part of the Recovery plan launched last May.

More than eight in 10 GP practices now have digital telephony in place, NHS England said in January.

Meanwhile, a survey has shown that more than half of GPs (51%) believed cloud-based telephony had improved call flow into practice, with nearly a quarter (22.5%) agreeing it had been improved ‘a great deal’ or ‘a lot’.  A total of 7.5% felt it had not improved at all.

Similarly, of the 105 respondents, nearly half (45%) felt patient management had improved, while one-in-10 felt that cloud-based telephony had done nothing to improve it.

When it came to staff satisfaction, 13% reported that it had increased ‘alot’ or ‘a great deal’, with 22% saying digital telephony had made a ‘little’ or ‘moderate amount’ of difference. Although 11% admitted it didn’t lead to any increase in staff satisfaction.

Asked about costs, 46% said they didn’t know how much their practice had spent on a new system. But of those who gave a number, the biggest group (12.5%) said their practice spent between £501 and £10,000. And one-in-10 (11.3%) are spending above £10,000.

For almost a quarter of respondents (24%), costs were met by the practice. The ICB provided funding for 16%, the PCN for 9%, and NHS England for 6%.

Practice managers is the group most likely to oversee the move to a new telephone system, the findings also showed. A total of 39% of respondents said their practice manager has taken i on this task, while 16% said it fell to the GP partner.

The survey carried out by our sister publication Pulse PCN last Autumn formed part of wider research among primary care professionals on the use of AI and digital tools in general practice.

All practices will have to move to digital telephony by 2025 when the public switched telephone network (PSTN) will be switched off across the UK.

Approved suppliers on the Better Purchasing Framework

These are: 

  • Adaptive Communication Solutions Ltd
  • Babblevoice
  • Etc.Health at BT Group 
  • Checkcomm – Check Cloud
  • Daisy Patient Line
  • Health24
  • ITS Digital – Surgery Connect
  • CareConnect with Horizon Contact
  • MPS Cloud Voice for general practice
  • NCS Gamma PatientSmart
  • Care connect from Onecom Ltd
  • Opus Telecomes
  • Redcentric Unity GP Telephony
  • RHM Telecom – Horizon Contact
  • RPM communications – Patient Contact
  • Smart IT – Smart Healthcare
  • Think healthcare 
  • Wavenet
  • X-on Health Surgery Connect


Source: Advanced Telephony Better Purchasing framework