NHS use of 084 numbers

  hastelloy 09:55 17 Dec 08
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If anybody gets as annoyed as I do by the use of 084 numbers, you can take part in the consultation process at click here

  hastelloy 14:32 17 Dec 08

Does that mean that, in order to maintain frontline services, I have to pay more for a call to my GP 2 miles away than to relations in St Louis, USA? That is what is happening at present.
20 min call to GP (if I'm lucky) = 80p, 20 min call to USA = 25p.

  johndrew 15:27 17 Dec 08

The excuse given by GPs, apparently, is that use of these numbers prevents the caller getting an engaged tone.

Use does not appear to enable quicker connection to Reception, enable an appointment to be booked either sooner or more quickly or even guarantee you wont be disconnected by overloaded staff or as a result of a `glitch`.

Surely it would be better if the problems above we fixed before GPs made more profits from patients?

  carver 16:26 17 Dec 08

My GP uses an 084 prefix for the surgery and now has enlisted the use of an automated service to put you through to the relevant people.

Only problem is you first get an automated response, then you get a choice of 6 different numbers to press for different sections, total time to get through this lot is 1 minute 10 seconds, best part about it is you speak to the same people no matter what number you press.

Before this system my calls were free to any land line No beginning 01 or 02, I now have to pay to call a doctor.

At least before this, if I got an engaged tone it didn't cost anything.

  laurie53 21:29 17 Dec 08

Since the NHS senior management is obsessed by finance rather than patient care it is small wonder that such attitudes filter downwards to the scalpel face.

My local hospital has recently started charging disabled drivers for parking, I know of nowhere else in the country (Scotland) that does this.

One wonders how much they pay for their Performing Rights licence to have their damned music blaring out in every waiting area and corridor. Since it's calculated on square footage I should think it's a tidy sum.

  picklsey 03:44 18 Dec 08

it could be because the men in suits put a lot of our nhs money in the Iceland bank and have no chance of getting it back.my wife has just been taken of a tablet because there is a cheaper one available and the doc told her that was the reason ,the doc. was fuming and told her there will be a lot more cutbacks.

  hastelloy 04:29 18 Dec 08

Its not 80p for a consultation, its 80p to make an appointment for a consultation which still involves a visit to the surgery, including a 4 mile drive. A geographical call would cost 5p (irrespective if length of call) so the increase in cost of a 20 minute call is 160% and the 084 number has no benefits over the geographical (except financial to the NHS and telecom companies). What sort of bargain is that? By the way - 20 minutes is likely to be a minimum and a longer call increases the cost. As I said before a geographical number would cost 5p per CALL so a 30 minute call (£1.20) would be an increase of 240%.

  newman35 05:58 18 Dec 08
Answer

I'm with you on this, and object strongly to the NHS forcing us to pay extra.
Time was when a phone was a means of calling someone; you dialled a number, spoke, and knew how much it cost. Of late the phone has become a 'cash-cow' with a plethora of 'specialised, premium numbers' - to 'help' our choices!
In effect they simply encourage us to be on longer, listening to menus, and racking up profits for the providers.
The beauty of it is that calls cost, say 20p, and it doesn't seem enough to get very excited about, but multiplied by the usage it mounts up very rapidly (particularly when you are put on hold!).

If the charges were going to the NHS it wouldn't be so bad, but the telco companies take the lion's share.

Fortunately our doctor has not shown such a need to change to premium numbers - hope he doesn't or I know of many patients who will be up in arms.

Great, isn't it when phone companies offer us all kinds of wonderful sounding 'unlimited free calls' packages - but then in the small print excludes the very numbers that are taking over nearly all our calls, anyway!

  hastelloy 08:37 18 Dec 08

I would agree with everything you say - my original intention was not to suggest that only those opposed should join in the consultation, though I can now see that it came over that way.

I have been complaining about these (and 0870) numbers for about 2 years and was beginning to think I was on a loser. Hopefully the consultation will come up with a common sense result.

It isn't right that public bodies should be using a system which financially penalises those that most need their services. The excuse is usually that there are benefits to these numbers, but the consultation document itself recognises that there are no benefits which cannot be applied to geographical numbers. Therefore its all down to cost - these numbers are a back-door way of charging extra costs to those most in need, which, particularly in the current climate, cannot be right.

  laurie53 20:25 18 Dec 08

"Charging for parking removes the incentive to 'borrow' granny's badge"

No it doesn't. Withdrawing the badge removes that incentive.

So far as I am aware it is only one car park, an NHS controlled one, in the whole of Scotland which finds it necessary to charge disabled people (tho' I hear there may be another one, also NHS, in Glasgow).

  hastelloy 01:16 19 Dec 08

I know it happens but I don't think misuse of Blue Badges is a bad as people think. I tend to agree with laurie53. Misuse of the badge can lead to a fine of £1000.

If you want to be inspired try my new thread click here

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