In-house comms team to improve Healthcall image

Healthcall, the private health company which has come in for severe

criticism from the NHS ombudsman, has put in place its first in-house PR

team to improve its image.



Fiona MacIntosh has been promoted to take on the newly-created post of

group PR and communications director. She heads a team of three and

reports to group MD Robbie Burns.



Healthcall offers a back-up service for GPs and other medical services,

including forensic support.



Last June Healthcare's performance was slammed as 'totally unacceptable'

by ombudsman Michael Buckley.



He singled out insufficient training for call handling staff and

inadequate procedures for prioritising calls, in a report which was

compiled following the deaths of patients in Gateshead and

Manchester.



'We've been particularly bad at getting our story across in terms of

what we are doing,' MacIntosh explained.



'We are a private partner in the NHS so we are bound to be criticised as

a commercial company that provides health services. We are now trying to

get positive aspects across,' she added.



Work to improve services has been undertaken by medical director Andy

Dun, MacIntosh explained.



Before taking up the post, MacIntosh, who has been with the company for

12 years and has a background in marketing, was MD of Healthcall's

recruitment division.



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