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A special thank you for our 'excellent' Switchboard Team

23/08/2022

Oxford University Hospitals' Chief Executive Officer, Professor Meghana Pandit, took time out of her busy day on Tuesday 23 August 2022 to visit the Trust's hard-working Switchboard Team.

These are the people who answer and direct your call when you dial our main number - 0300 304 7777. While they take calls for all four of our hospitals, they are based at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Switchboard is a vital team whose contribution is sometimes not as well-recognised by our service users as it ought to be. Tucked away in a discreet location within the hospital, the team answers up to 45,000 calls monthly. At any one time there can be two to six members of staff on shift, from a total team of 20.

Like our other hospital services, the Switchboard Team was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff have also had to continue a seamless and professional service while our brand-new Oxford Critical Care Centre was constructed (not quietly!) just metres from their office windows.

The nature of the job meant that Prof Pandit was only able to chat briefly with Switchboard Manager Maggie Newbold, and Operators Linda Horgan and Diane Bower, before the telephones were ringing yet again and duty called.

She was however able to take the opportunity to present them with a certificate of Excellence, as part of our Reporting Excellence initiative (their second in two years) and a box of goodies kindly supplied by Oxford Hospitals Charity to enhance the team's wellbeing.

Switchboard Service Manager Carl Harrison said: "I am extremely proud of the professionalism the team has displayed throughout the recent challenging period and continues to display. They are an amazing, dedicated group of staff, always trying to get the best outcome for every call they handle."

Prof Pandit said: "One of the joys of my job is to meet colleagues who help make the day-to-day frontline work of our hospitals happen. I hope that the visit today will shine a light on our Switchboard Team, and that others will join me in thanking them for all they do."

Pictured: Prof Pandit (left), Carl Harrison and Maggie Newbold