Excellence In Reception Skills

When we were approached by Hastings and Rother CCG (clinical commissioning group) as well as Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG (phew), we didn’t hesitate to get straight into work in helping them to train their tireless primary care warriors.  We mean, receptionists.  Who are a bit like warriors really, with the endless demands of their jobs and doing their best to get patients what they need and organise practice staff.  The thing is without proper training, a lot of them simply aren’t given the chance to shine and showcase their full potential.

But the last thing we wanted to do was bore them with traditional training techniques. No, no, no.  We took things further, creating the concept of Excellence in Reception, a modular training programme with a list of courses that any phone warrior/receptionist can attend.

We developed workshops in:

  • Essential communication skills
  • Dealing with difficult behaviour (naughty, naughty)
  • Telephone (warrior) skills
  • Data protection / information governance
  • First class reception service (living the NHS values)
  • Influencing and negotiating
  • The receptionists role in continuous improvement

Whenever a receptionist completed any four modules as well as a quick little learning check to put their skills to the test, we awarded them the standard of Excellence in Reception.

Seeing as the CCGs were a little short on admin support at the time, we even developed marketing materials and took bookings from practices.  The first programme was rolled out in just a few weeks, each course full to the brim with a waiting list too!

We had a chit chat with the bosses of the phone warriors afterwards, who praised their staff for working more efficiently and with more confidence, and tackling difficult situations and patient enquiries with more ease.  Issues such as confidentiality and data protection were also given a resounding thumbs up.

Overall, all the practice managers we surveyed said that they would recommend Excellence in Reception to other practices.  And it seems that’s exactly what they did, as we were approached by Brighton and Hove CCG and East Surrey CCG to share our awesome programme with them too.