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GP surgery (Read 30,920 times)
Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #15 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:16pm
 
After a further period of almost 11 months I have had the decision from the ICO. The surgery do not know the geographic number as this number belongs to NEG, who are obviously not going to release it. As far as the ICO are concerned that is the limit of their investigation. They cannot look into any facts such as the actual cost of the calls nor the ability to connect from abroad etc.
NEG are not covered by the FOI Act so there is little hope of being able to extract these numbers from them. The only way this can now be resolved is for the PCTs to force surgeries to change to a different numbering system, but this in turn will presumably have to come from the Dept of Health..
It is now over 2 years since my original request went in to the ICO and I have not achieved my aim, but at least I tried!!
Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #16 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:23pm
 
Ricardo wrote on Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:16pm:
... The surgery do not know the geographic number as this number belongs to NEG, who are obviously not going to release it. ...

I believe that is rubbish. We have seen responses from surgeries that there is a direct 01/02 number for reception and that it is only for staff use.
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Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #17 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:36pm
 
I am only repeating what was sent ot me from the ICO. There may be other numbers for staff to use but they are not likely to release them for the general public or do you think that they will if requested by the ICO? If these extra numbers do exist then they may or may not be outside the NEG system.
Ricardo
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Dave
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #18 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:40pm
 
Ricardo wrote on Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:36pm:
I am only repeating what was sent ot me from the ICO. There may be other numbers for staff to use but they are not likely to release them for the general public or do you think that they will if requested by the ICO? If these extra numbers do exist then they may or may not be outside the NEG system.

I think it's probably all one phone system. So if you could find out the direct number for a member of staff, then reception will be nearby. We have had word that someone has located a direct number, changed the last digit(s) to 0 or 00 and hey presto, got through to reception! If numbers are in a sequence, which is likely if it's all part of the same system, then this may be true, ie reception is the first in the sequence.
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« Last Edit: Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:41pm by Dave »  
 
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Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #19 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:45pm
 
Should I ask the ICO to ask the sugery for this information as the case is still open? There is no point in asking NEG as they will flatly refuse especially as they are not covered by the Act.
Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #20 - Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:55pm
 
Ricardo wrote on Oct 6th, 2007 at 11:45pm:
Should I ask the ICO to ask the sugery for this information as the case is still open? There is no point in asking NEG as they will flatly refuse especially as they are not covered by the Act.

Yes. You are after the number for reception. It's up to you whether you ask for direct numbers for other staff. But if you get one of them, I think it'll be a straightforward task find out other numbers which should be nearby.
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Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #21 - Oct 7th, 2007 at 12:00am
 
Right I will give it a go. No doubt another long wait will ensue.
Ricardo
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loddon
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #22 - Oct 7th, 2007 at 9:10am
 
Ricardo,
well done in your progress so far.   There is no doubt, in my opinion, that the surgery DO know their geo number(s).   My own surgery have admitted to me in writing that they have geo numbers but they refuse to make them availbable..

I also think you should not be so accepting of inevitable delay in getting answers from the COI.   I suggest you press hard for an immediate answer.   Don't accept any delay.   Make it clear to the COI that the surgery DO know their number.  

Could you post on this thread the letters you have had from the COI so that we may see exactly what they have said?   There may be nuances in the wording which we could evaluate.
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« Last Edit: Oct 7th, 2007 at 9:11am by loddon »  
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Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #23 - Oct 7th, 2007 at 10:55pm
 
According to the reply from the ICO, they have spoken with NEG and they have said that the line is converted to a digital line, if it is not already one, and then they allocate the new number. The agreement with the surgery is for the rental of the new system and the surgery only know the 0844 number. As such I do not see that the underlying number will be made available.
It is possible that different surgeries have different contracts/set ups with NEG or could be with a different supplier for their phone systems, which may explain why your surgery has confirmed that they know the number but still will not release it.
Ricardo
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Heinz
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #24 - Oct 8th, 2007 at 9:17am
 
They're still lying to you.

You'll find that the staff at the Surgery all know the geographical number(s) and devious wording like saying that such numbers are "not available to patients or the public" gives that away.  They're good politician-like  'economical with the truth' weasel words but not the truth.
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« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2007 at 9:19am 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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loddon
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #25 - Oct 8th, 2007 at 10:33am
 
Ricardo wrote on Oct 7th, 2007 at 10:55pm:
According to the reply from the ICO, they have spoken with NEG and they have said that the line is converted to a digital line, if it is not already one, and then they allocate the new number. The agreement with the surgery is for the rental of the new system and the surgery only know the 0844 number. As such I do not see that the underlying number will be made available.
It is possible that different surgeries have different contracts/set ups with NEG or could be with a different supplier for their phone systems, which may explain why your surgery has confirmed that they know the number but still will not release it.
Ricardo


I take it that "digital" means they have a VOIP connection.   This may be true.   However, I would find it very hard to believe that whenever a doctor or a member of the surgery staff call the surgery from outside they use the 0844 number.   

Perhaps you should ask, under the FOI, for all numbers in use by the surgery, and whether staff use the same number, 0844,  to call into the surgery.    It would also be interesting to know what is the maximum queue length  within the system and the number of calls taken per day, per week, on average and the peak volumes.    Also, what is the largest queue length actually experienced since the system was installed.   

I know these are fairly deep questions, but we the public, have a legitimate reason for asking.    The NHS surgeries are totally paid for by us, through our taxes, and we have a right to access to our surgeries.    Why should some surgeries be allowed to charge a premium on that access, while the majoity of patients can call in at "normal" rates?
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Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #26 - Oct 8th, 2007 at 11:02pm
 
I will try and get a letter off to the ICO in the next few days and see if they can get the information that has been suggested.
Ricardo
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #27 - Oct 11th, 2007 at 8:42am
 
DAY LIGHT ROBBERY Cry Angry Angry Angry

Can somebody please clarify this document from FLEXTEC on the ofcom site http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/personal_numbering/responses/Flextelresp...

If I am reading it correctly the prices are hiked over and above the local call rate and with the 0844 number a 3 minute call from a mobile TO A DOCTORS could cost UPTO  £1.50 I am no expert but is this correct.

Quote:
At the present time there are no guidelines, as to the form of OCP tariffs. Nor, surprisingly, has Ofcom attempted to regulate this area e.g. the quality and ease of access to this vital consumer guidance. In fact Ofcom has studiously ignored mobile tariffs in all of its recent consultations. Here is an example of the full table expanded from that given by Ofcom recently12 which only dealt with the cost from a BT Public Payphone! To make it realistic we’ve averaged the call cost over a typical 3 minute call.

Daytime calls, worst case pricing to show risk to consumers for a typical 3 minute call e.g to doctors or public services
Operator Landline 0844 0845 0870 0871
BT 9p 15p 12p 24p 30p
BT Payphone 30p 42p 50p 50p 50p
Orange 45p 75p 75p 75p 75p
Three 45p 45p 45p 45p 45p
Virgin 45p 30p 30p 30p 30p
O2 75p 105p 105p 105p 105p
T-Mobile 90p 120p 120p 120p 120p
Vodafone 90p 180p 180p 180p 180p
Prepay mobile cited - for low income families, who cannot afford BT line rental.


~ Edited by Dave: Quote box and table added
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« Last Edit: Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:00pm by Dave »  
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jgxenite
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #28 - Oct 11th, 2007 at 10:52am
 
bazzerfewi wrote on Oct 11th, 2007 at 8:42am:


Interesting. Anybody else notice how, on the last page, we are described as being an "anarchic website"?
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« Last Edit: Oct 11th, 2007 at 10:52am by jgxenite »  

I don't mind helping you with your request as long as you read the instructions!
 
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Dave
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Re: GP surgery
Reply #29 - Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:03pm
 
bazzerfewi wrote on Oct 11th, 2007 at 8:42am:
If I am reading it correctly the prices are hiked over and above the local call rate and with the 0844 number a 3 minute call from a mobile TO A DOCTORS could cost UPTO  £1.50 I am no expert but is this correct.

That has always been the case. The "local call rate" for any one subscriber at any one time is, by definition, the cost of a call to a local 01/02 number. This varies by tariff, as well as time. 0844/0871 numbers are generally the same rate from all landline providers on all tariffs.
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