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Parliamentary update (Read 379,838 times)
idb
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #135 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 2:19am
 
House of Commons - Work and Pensions - Third Special Report

10 October 2007

Conclusion and Recommendation 11: As part of this inquiry we met a series of claimants and even Jobcentre Plus staff who found it impossible to get through to the new Jobcentre Plus Benefit Delivery Centres. Unlike calls to Contact Centres these calls are charged at 0845 rates and are not free. Coupled with delays in the system, this has resulted in hardship and distress for many vulnerable people. DWP should take action to resolve these problems immediately. (Paragraph 118)

15. Jobcentre Plus is aware that in some locations customers have been experiencing difficulties in getting through to its Benefit Delivery Centres on the telephone. To address this more people have been assigned to answer the telephones as trained resources become available. As a result the time taken to process claims has fallen consistently over the last 12 months and continues to fall. Like many other service organisations Jobcentre Plus uses 0845, local rate tariffs, for telephone enquiries, following 0800 calls to claim benefits, which are free from most landlines. In addition Jobcentre Plus is paying particular attention to the needs of vulnerable customers who may be less able to use the telephone service. Jobcentres continue to take applications and handle face to face enquiries. Local advice organisations are being given local direct line numbers to the centres so they can bypass the switchboard in cases of urgent need.
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pw4
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #136 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 4:55pm
 
idb wrote on Oct 10th, 2007 at 12:50am:
Mr Stephen O'Brien (Eddisbury):To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will place in the Library the NHS's contract with Patientline.

He may have a long wait. None of the four NHS's has a contract with any of the in-patient phone an TV systems companies.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #137 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 10:02pm
 
pw4 wrote on Oct 24th, 2007 at 4:55pm:
idb wrote on Oct 10th, 2007 at 12:50am:
Mr Stephen O'Brien (Eddisbury):To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will place in the Library the NHS's contract with Patientline.

He may have a long wait. None of the four NHS's has a contract with any of the in-patient phone an TV systems companies.

Indeed, I see that Ben Bradshaw, the Minister, made the point in replying to the question.

Quote:
There is no single national health service contract with Patientline. Patientline's contracts are tailored to each NHS trust according to its specific needs - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-10-08b.155868.h

It must be noted that whilst each contract between a GP and a PCT is similarly "tailored", there are nationally negotiated templates. Most GPs operate under that for "General Medical Services" (GMS). One may guess that Mr O'Brien assumed that a similar situation existed with PatientLine.

David
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #138 - Oct 24th, 2007 at 10:13pm
 
idb wrote on Oct 24th, 2007 at 2:19am:
... Jobcentre Plus uses 0845, local rate tariffs...

It is particularly disappointing to see Parliamentary discussion containing these meaningless terms. Why do MPs not take Ofcom's advice on board?
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #139 - Oct 27th, 2007 at 9:56pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 24th, 2007 at 10:02pm:
It must be noted that whilst each contract between a GP and a PCT is similarly "tailored", there are nationally negotiated templates. Most GPs operate under that for "General Medical Services" (GMS). One may guess that Mr O'Brien assumed that a similar situation existed with PatientLine.

It did in many cases. Contracts with English hospital trusts that were entered into as part of the Patient Power Project had to be based on the model concession agreement, so they all are very similar.
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #140 - Oct 31st, 2007 at 2:31am
 
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 29 Oct 2007 (pt 0038)

Pension Service: Telephone Services

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has any plans to charge customers for telephoning the Pensions Service. [157179]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Currently, the Pension Service can be contacted on a range of numbers with the following call charging arrangements 0845, 0800, 0191 or 0113:

0845 numbers are charged at local call rates and the current guidance by the Committee of Advertising Practice Code applies to the cost of these calls. Current guidance is that calls provided by BT will be charged at up to four pence per minute at all times. A call set up fee of three pence per call applies to calls from residential lines. Mobile and other providers' charges may vary.

0800 99 1234 Pension Credit Application Line is a free phone number and there is no charge for calls to this number from a BT Landline. Mobile and other providers' charges may vary.

0191 218 7777 (International Pension Centre—for Overseas Customers). Calls to this number are charged at the standard rate for the territory from which the customer is calling.

0113 numbers in existence relate to:

MP Helpline

Comments on Customer Charter

Calls made to each of these numbers from within the 0113 area are charged at Local Call Rates; calls made to each of these numbers from outside the area are charged at National Call Rates.

The Pension Service always offers to call customers back if the customer expresses any concerns about the costs being incurred.

All Public Service providers are currently assessing the impact of migrating call numbers to the new ‘03' range. The Pension Service will also review the existing range of telephone numbers and consider simplifying access to our services for our customers. As part of that
review, cost implications and the merits of free-phone numbers over local call rates will be considered.

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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #141 - Oct 31st, 2007 at 2:33am
 
House of Commons - Work and Pensions - Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Citizens Advice Scotland



POVERTY IN SCOTLAND

12. The government has stated in its five year strategy for the DWP that it is cutting 30,000 jobs, and some JobCentre Plus offices in Scotland have already closed. This reorganisation is having a major impact on both clients and CAB offices. The switch to telephone based applications is causing hardship for some clients as well as unnecessary delay and frustration for clients and CAB advisers alike. It is therefore particularly disappointing that the DWP has received £268,000 through its use of 0845 telephone numbers for benefits claimants.[31]


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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #142 - Nov 1st, 2007 at 12:01am
 
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 24 Oct 2007 (pt 0012)

Unsolicited Goods and Services: Telephones
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make a statement on telephone call charges incurred by UK households who receive unsolicited sales calls from overseas; and what estimate has been made of the cost to UK households as a result of such charges. [160439]

Mr. Timms: The Premium Rate Services regulator, PhonePay Plus (formerly known as The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, ICSTIS), estimates that the UK Premium Rate Services (PRS) market, is worth over £1 billion a year and comprises of around 40,000 different services. Most services do not cause any problems but the Government take consumer protection very seriously indeed and we are taking steps to prevent abuse of the system. We work with both PhonePay Plus and Ofcom, the independent communications regulator, to ensure a co-ordinated, effective response to problems as they arise.

Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, no one is allowed to make an unsolicited telephone sales call to a subscriber who has either previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls or who has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme for at least 28 days. Companies with a UK presence are legally required not to call a telephone number which has been registered with the TPS scheme, irrespective of whether the call is made from within the UK or from outside the UK. Such companies lay themselves open to enforcement action if they breach this requirement. The Government have made no estimate of costs to those UK subscribers who return unsolicited sales calls.

The Regulations require prior consent of the customer to those companies that make recorded calls to sell or promote their product or business. Also, the Regulations state that all messages must include the identity of the caller and an address or freephone number at which the caller can be contacted. Where a consumer receives an automated call they have not agreed to, there may have been a breach of the Regulations.

The Information Commissioner's Office has responsibility for the enforcement of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. PhonePay Plus is the regulator to investigate cases, which involve PRS calls.
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #143 - Nov 1st, 2007 at 7:48pm
 
Mr. Timms continued by washing his hands in public whilst maintaining a sly grin on his face.
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« Last Edit: Nov 1st, 2007 at 7:49pm by Heinz »  

After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #144 - Nov 1st, 2007 at 7:58pm
 
Heinz wrote on Nov 1st, 2007 at 7:48pm:
Mr. Timms continued by washing his hands in public whilst maintaining a sly grin on his face.



Isn't that what all politicians do? Roll Eyes
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #145 - Nov 1st, 2007 at 8:33pm
 
Be fair chaps, I would give that answer seven out of ten for being a concise and accurate summary of some of the regulations covering related matters. The question seemed to be founded on the mistaken assumption that call receipients may be charged when they respond to an invitiation to press a key to speak to someone. Their line may get locked up, but they incur no charge. The correct answer to the second part of the question is "zero".

The answer could have assisted in scotching that common misassumption, or pointing out that any such call (not attended by a live person when it is answered) is classified as a breach of the PECR, regardless of TPS registration.

Apart from some relatively minor issues, the problem here is with (non-)enforcement of the regulations by the ICO, which is not accountable to DBERR or any other part of government.

Happily (!) none of this touches directly on Ofcom and my pet topic, so I can stop here.

David
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #146 - Nov 8th, 2007 at 12:57am
 
It may be that the campaign against GPs breaching the principle that the NHS is FREE AT THE POINT OF NEED by using revenue sharing 0844 numbers has a parliamentary champion for the new session.

Graham Stuart MP
(Conservative - Beverley & Holderness) has tabled an EDM and four questions for written answer on the subject:


EDM 108 - USE OF 0844 TELEPHONE NUMBERS IN GP SURGERIES

That this House notes that more than 1,200 GP surgeries across the country have installed telephone systems using 0844 numbers; further notes that these systems are more expensive to use than a local call with patients being charged 5 pence per minute from a landline and up to 40 pence per minute from a mobile; further notes that for many people, calling their local GP surgery can be a stressful and worrying time and that high call charges will have a particular impact on the chronically ill, the old, the disabled and those on low incomes; notes that the practice of charging people extra to call their local GP is unsatisfactory; and calls upon the Secretary of State for Health to put an end to it with immediate effect.


THURSDAY 8 NOVEMBER - Questions for Written Answer - Notices given on Tuesday 6 November

537: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to issue guidance to general practitioners on the use of 0844 revenue-sharing telephone numbers; and if he will make a statement. (162416)  

538: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations he has received from patient groups on the use of 0844 revenue-sharing telephone numbers; and if he will make a statement. (162853)  

539: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make a statement on the implementation of the new GP Surgery Line telephone system. (162854)  

540: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department has issued to primary care trusts on the use of 0844 revenue-sharing telephone numbers; when such guidance was issued; and if he will make a statement. (162855)
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EDM108
Reply #147 - Nov 8th, 2007 at 10:21am
 
email sent to my MP because he hasn't yet signed it.
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #148 - Nov 15th, 2007 at 12:59am
 
Order Book Part 2

Part 2: Oral or Written Questions for Answer beginning on Thursday 15 November 2007

43
N  Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much his Department estimates GP surgeries receive in revenue from calls to 0844 revenue sharing numbers.
(164453)  

44
N  Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many GPs' surgeries in each primary care trust area use 0844 revenue sharing telephone numbers.
(164454)  

45
N  Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, through what mechanism GP surgeries receive payment from calls to 0844 revenue sharing numbers.
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Re: Parliamentary update
Reply #149 - Nov 21st, 2007 at 12:02am
 
Posted here and in the NEG thread:

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 19 Nov 2007 (pt 0032)

19 Nov 2007 : Column 602W

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much his Department estimates GP surgeries receive in revenue from calls to 0844 revenue sharing numbers; [164453]

(2) how many GPs' surgeries in each primary care trust area use 0844 revenue sharing telephone numbers; [164454]

(3) through what mechanism GP surgeries receive payment from calls to 0844 revenue sharing numbers. [164455]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 15 November 2007]: We do not collect information centrally on the use of 084 telephone numbers.

The provision of telephone services for patients and the public is a matter for the local national health service. The Department did however issue guidance in December of last year clearly setting out that patients should not be charged more than the equivalent of a local call.
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