Free phone systems installed for patients and visitors


Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has set up free phonelines at three of its hospitals to help patients and visitors.

The Trust has signed up with a company called Infopoint for the installation of five call-stations. One is at the Tyrrell Community Hospital in Ilfracombe, one at Bideford Community Hospital, and one each in the main foyer, the Accident and Emergency Department and the Ladywell Unit at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH).

Each enables callers, at the press of a button, to get through to:

  • A local taxi firm, to book journeys
  • The Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), for help and support
  • The Trust’s Information Centre, for leaflets and other information
  • NHS Direct, for advice and information on health and the health service
  • Care Direct, the service for older people in Devon
  • Addaction North Devon, for help with alcohol or drug problems
  • Disability Information Service
  • Women’s Aid
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • NHS Smoking Helpline, for help in quitting
  • Traveline, for public transport information

In addition, the NDDH Infopoints have links to the Tourist Information Centre in Barnstaple, for help finding overnight accommodation, while the community hospital Infopoints have links to the NDDH switchboard.

All calls are free for patients and visitors. The systems are provided without charge to the Trust, with Infopoint funding its operation from Traveline and from the local taxi firm.

The search is now on for taxi firms to support similar phone systems at the Trust’s other community hospitals and centres.

Jenny Jacobs, the Trust’s Interim Patient Experience Manager, said: “Our staff are always glad to help anyone with queries, but the Infopoints can put people in direct touch with all sorts of agencies that they might need – especially at difficult times. You don’t have to remember or find out any numbers – just press the buttons and you’re through.”

Posted in News.

Last updated: March 6, 2018