Most receptionists have now been trained to be “care navigators” – they are there to get you seen by the most appropriate person.
Dr Radiya Kurfi of Stafford’s Wolverhampton Road Surgery said: “They don’t just answer the phone. They try really hard to navigate people to the right care, and there are more specialist staff available than you might think. For instance, if you ring in with a problem with your bones or muscles, a first contact physiotherapist may be the best person to see initially.”
And Dr Kurfi urged everyone to be respectful, even if they are frustrated waiting for their call to be answered.
She said: “They do get really busy, and there are occasions when our staff face rudeness from patients and it’s pretty unpleasant. I have known verbally aggressive people leave receptionist colleagues shaken and in tears – nobody should have to experience that.
“If they ask you for certain information, it is so they can better help you. Please help them to do their job properly, by giving them the details they need.
“Our care navigators are a vital part of our team. They are professional and we would ask that you treat them with respect.”
Dr Radiya Kurfi talks about the vital role of care navigators: