Contact Centre

Call handlerFrom our offices in Newburn, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Hebburn, South Tyneside,  NEAS operate the 999, 111 and Patient Transport Services  (PTS) for our geographical area.

Our call takers are the first point of contact with patients in need of front line medical care or transportation and, as you can imagine, this is not like your usual contact centre. While not every 999 or 111 call you deal with is a life threatening emergency our call takers have to utilise a medical assessment tool (NHS Pathways), their excellent communication, questioning and problem solving skills to assess patient need and provide the relevant level of medical assistance. 

Our 999 and 111 call taking operations can be very rewarding in busy and pressured environments. We are open 24/7 365 days of the year. Call takers respond to a high volume of calls and requests from the public, they handle extreme situations to basic and simple issues our callers have. They can be explaining to a caller how to give CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) to someone who has collapsed one minute and explaining to a mother how to deal with nappy rash the next.

Our call takers have to remain calm in challenging circumstances, accurately recording patient information into computer systems whilst reassuring callers and offering practical support. Call takers must be able to make decisions, respond quickly to requests and multi-task.

As a team player, you will have a good aptitude for computer based systems and the ability to deal with and work with people in a busy and demanding environment.

Full training and mentoring will be given, following which you will be able to utilise the assessment tool to evaluate and direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare provider, which may include asking them to make their own way to hospital or refer them to another healthcare professional or provide an ambulance response.

PTS team

Available 8am to 7pm and handle calls from the public, doctors,  care homes, hospitals and other medical providers, providing an excellent service planning and arranging thousands of journeys on PTS transport daily for those people who cannot make their own way to hospital appointments, their regular customers include cancer and dialysis patients.  Full training and mentoring will be provided.

Clinical Team

The Clinical Team support the operation of the 'NHS Pathways' telephone triage assessment system within the contact centre.  They work directly alongside non clinical 'emergency service call takers' and act as mentors and preceptors to complement the existing skill mix within the contact centre.

Utilising excellent interpersonal skills to ensure that quality and performance remain the focus and that high quality patient care is delivered and maintained. The team use professional judgement during telephone consultations, and demonstrate a level of skill and knowledge whilst acting as a role models to contribute to the overall performance of the contact centre.  

All posts will include working out-of-hours and weekends/bank holidays.

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Below, some call takers share their experiences of working in our call centre including their training.

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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