Based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Thirsk Doctors Surgery services over 7,400 patients, providing clinics including Asthma and Diabetes, plus Family Planning and Frailty services, Blood Tests and a Pharmacy.

The Challenge

Thirsk Doctors Surgery were confined by a legacy system that offered few lines, no call recording and little else in the way of GP Practice usability. As is the case with most non cloud based systems, patient communications were being compromised by engaged tones and upgrading would have been difficult and costly. Wendy Hunter, Practice Manager at Thirsk Doctors Surgery, explains that their existing phone system “had limitations. We didn’t have any calls recorded. We had a certain number of lines, and we didn’t have an ability to work from home.”

The Solution

Surgery Connect is an advanced GP Telephony solution that provides an unlimited number of lines of communication which means access to the practice is only limited by staff capacity. Surgery Connect moved Thirsk Doctors Surgery from a highly limited legacy system to fully featured and flexible cloud telephony.

Clinical System Integration

Clinical system integration allows staff to see who is calling the practice, or to contact patients directly from the patient record, while linking call recordings to the record. Wendy explains that Surgery Connect “saved time, especially for patients, when it’s integrated with the clinical system. At first we used it with EMIS, and I thought ‘it’s going to be such a headache to move to SystmOne’, but that was smooth sailing again.” The practice prefer to check the patient’s details so “we still do ask, however we’ve got them in front of us so it’s not many clicks.” By identifying the caller, and calling up the patient record, the system “saves patient time and that’s the key thing. If you’ve got five George Smiths in the practice, the George Smith ringing is in front of the receptionist.”

The customer portal and X-flow allow full control over how the system is configured and how the calls are handled. Full support is provided during build up, go-live and after. As Wendy explains: “you have to change things over time but I know that you [X-on] can assist and you’ve offered those services before if we need anything changing or altering.” Dedicated training and online help ensure all staff understand the system.

“We have changed things and we do, because it interests me and I quite like tweaking.”

Check and Cancel

A feature to be rolled out very soon is Check and Cancel, which will allow patients to self manage appointments. For Wendy it “would be really good if it could say ‘Press six to cancel your appointment.’ That would be really useful.”

The Choice

The team from Thirsk Doctors Surgery met X-on at an exhibition and after due process and deliberation decided “we had faith that you could deliver what you were saying because there were other organisations that were smaller or their representatives were salesman types; very pushy, where you weren’t like that. You just said this is what we offer, this is what we can do, tailor made solutions. It just seemed ‘professional-er’.”


“Very efficient, there weren’t any issues. The engineers were polite and courteous and kept us informed.” Subsequently X-on Customer Relationship Managers regularly check in with customers to see how they’re faring with the system and if they need any help.

New Features

All upgrades to the Surgery Connect are included in the monthly rental, no additional fees are charged. Surgery Connect has been honed in response to customer feedback and a feature request form is offered for all customers.

For Wendy Surgery Connect represents value for money given the “ease of setup, and if you want to make any alterations. It does actually save time.”

“The support team are professional.

“It saves time. It does actually save time.”

Wendy Hunter, Practice Manager, Thirsk Doctors Surgery