Phoneta History: Where it all began, with the Doctors Answering Service.

Doctors Answering Service

In 1993, LaVerne Caddy bid farewell to his 35-year career in the ambulance service, unwilling to fully retire. He embarked on a new venture, Wenvern Paging, operating from his own kitchen. LaVerne’s innovative business answered late-night and emergency calls for doctors.

These calls were meticulously routed to on-call emergency physicians, addressing a pressing need at the time – the lack of a service offering such coverage. Back then, doctors juggled their late-night calls, compromising their work-life balance. Moreover, even mundane appointment requests disrupted their rest.

Wenvern Paging revolutionised this scenario, filtering calls and ensuring doctors were only alerted for genuine emergencies. With a mere two telephones in the kitchen, the venture extended its service to cover 90% of doctors’ surgeries in Cornwall and numerous others across the South West.

However, as the healthcare landscape evolved, so did Wenvern Paging. The emergence of Kernow doc and subsequently the 111 service led to decreased demand for Wenvern’s services. Adapting to the changing environment, the company rebranded as Kernow Business Messaging Service (KBMS) and identified a new market – veterinarians.

Over the next few years, KBMS extended its after-hours emergency cover to veterinary practices. This not only helped vets achieve a better work-life balance but also ensured reliable assistance for distressed animals. As time passed, KBMS’s scope expanded further. It evolved into Phoneta, a 24/7, 365-day telephone answering service catering to diverse businesses across various industries nationwide. The company’s workforce grew substantially, currently employing over 60 individuals across two office spaces.

In 2017, Phoneta emerged as the definitive solution for those requiring professional telephone answering services. While serving clients from myriad sectors, a remarkable trend emerged – a significant number of doctors’ surgeries began to return to Phoneta’s fold.

The advent of the 111 service prompted most surgeries to route calls to 111 after 6:30 pm, resuming direct operations at 08:00 am. However, operational hours often clashed with certain surgeries, resulting in gaps in their service coverage. Phoneta seized this opportunity, offering a “top and tail” service. This bridge service effectively covered the interval between the end of the 111 service and the surgery’s opening and closing times.

During this span, Phoneta managed calls on behalf of doctors, promptly addressing patient concerns. In cases where the surgery remained closed, patients were informed and emergencies were routed to the appropriate channels. Notably, Phoneta isn’t just bridging the gap left by the 111 service; it also addresses closures during lunch breaks, staff training, and unforeseen situations such as staff shortages or COVID-19 risks.

Phoneta’s rekindled relationship with its early adopters speaks volumes. The doctors who once valued its services 29 years ago are returning with excitement, confident in the reliability of Phoneta’s solutions.

If you’re seeking assistance for your business or require more information about our comprehensive call-answering services, please reach out to us at 01209 311311.

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