PATIENTS at a Huddersfield GP practice will soon find a quicker answer at the surgery, but they will have a new phone number to learn.
Doctors at Almondbury surgery are tackling the problem of busy lines by installing a new phone system.
The system, known as Surgery Line, starts next Tuesday.
From that date, patients will need to use the new telephone number of 0844 477 7617 when contacting the surgery.
The new 0844 number is charged at lo-call rates and with elements of call automation and additional lines it is claimed it will make it quicker and easier to get through to book appointments or speak to a member of staff.
The Surgery Line system has been developed specifically for GPs' practices by telecoms specialists NEG and is in use at more than 700 surgeries nationwide.
Carole Askham, practice manager at Almondbury, said: "Engaged lines are a common problem at most GPs' practices but we are aware of how frustrating it can be for our patients when they are trying to contact us.
"We have over 5,500 patients, many of whom call before 11am, which means that we needed to find a solution to this recurring issue - and we think that our new phone system is it."
There will be a redirection message for patients who dial the old number in error.
Carole said: "The system is able to route callers directly to the department that they need to speak to. It also uses call automation and we will have additional lines which will make it much easier for patients to get through to us."