People in Lanarkshire should find it easier to contact their local health service for information - and they should also receive first rate customer service.
NHS Lanarkshire’s Customer Care Policy and Standards, and a Guide to Written Communications, were developed to improve the public’s experience when contacting the health board.
These are now being rolled out to staff through a training programme, ‘How can I help you?’.
Karen Hamilton, head of communications, said: “Members of the public have the right to expect their contact with NHS Lanarkshire, whether by telephone, in person or through the web, to be dealt with efficiently and effectively.
“All staff have a responsibility to help us achieve this.
“However, we need to provide guidance and information in order to achieve the high standards we are setting for ourselves.
“The ‘How can I help you?’ training programme, being rolled out will support staff to deliver a high quality, consistent service that meets the customers’ needs to enable them to access our services.”
The new standards were developed by a small working group established to address issues raised in a report from the Scottish Consumer Council in relation to the public’s experience when contacting the NHS.
They were then tested with members of the public and staff groups and are now being implemented.
John Mitchell, former chair of the South Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forum (PPF), was involved in the development of the new standards.
He said: “We very much welcome the new policy and standards, which are very well written, comprehensive and contain a great deal of common sense.
“We’ll be very happy to monitor the implementation of the document and its effectiveness.”