NHS BSA scale up their ‘Pop Up’ contact centre homeworking solution

Contact centres are handling the challenge of widespread homeworking amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The second in our series of insights into how the sector is dealing with the crisis is with Dan Britton, Head of Customer Operations at NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) to learn more about their ‘Pop Up’ contact centre homeworking solution.

Tell us a little about what NHS BSA does

“NHS BSA currently supplies services across a wide-ranging set of key NHS functions such as NHS Pensions, NHS Prescription Services, NHS Dental Services, Help with Health Costs, EHIC and Overseas Healthcare Services to name just a few.

In response to the Covid19 situation we have on boarded several new services to remove pressure from frontline NHS services.

We are supporting the 111 Coronavirus helpline on behalf of Public Health England. We are also providing resource for the National Supply Disruption Response service, which is responsible for the delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline primary and secondary healthcare providers.

On boarding these additional services has not affected our commitment to the existing services we provide. The contact handling performance in both new and existing services is excellent. In some cases we have reduced contact volumes against forecast due to changing customer behaviour in response to the Coronavirus situation”.

‘Pop up’ contact centre solutions to support Covid19 situation

“NHS BSA have operated homeworking for around 18 months. The hybrid model we already had in place was 40 seats with 50% full skill set to include telephony and email, the remainder email only.

We have enhanced our homeworking opportunities and have stepped this up quickly in light of the challenges brought on by the Covid19 situation. Through our current business continuity planning we now have an additional 80 contact centre colleagues homeworking.

Using AWS functionality, we have been successful in enabling ‘Pop-Up’ contact centre solutions. The technology allows colleagues to work directly from their home device. So far we have enabled a further 20 colleagues to work from home in this way. We believe we can scale and extend our ‘Pop Up’ contact centre solution to a further 50 colleagues within the next week. This was a collaborative effect between our telephony and corporate IT teams”.

Regular communication via Skype

“We have a dedicated Service Delivery Manager with responsibility for all aspects of homeworking to ensure that all colleagues stay connected. Homeworkers have daily group chats via Skype with their team managers who also work from home. Colleagues attend weekly 1:2:1 Skype calls with their team manager to discuss performance. Team Managers also run strategy days to keep homeworkers up to date on issues that impact the contact centre”.


Social distancing for those who remain in the contact centre

“As per the government guidance for organisations, we have implemented and adhered to a strict 2m social distancing between colleagues, and around the workplace. This has meant exploring additional estate across the business. We have utilised space where other business areas in BSA have adopted increased homeworking. Absence has increased to around 3 times the usual amount due to the Coronavirus situation. But we have been able to balance this with reduced contact volumes and increased homeworking options”.

And when normality returns

“The situation has actually given us an opportunity to expand and scale our contact centre estate quicker than ever before. Once normality returns, our homeworking footprint will be in a very positive position. This will allow greater flexibility for our workers and our business in the future”.