Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
SAYNOTO0870.COM

<---- Back to main website

 
Home Help Search Login Register

Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Number quandary at Health centre (Read 6,521 times)
idb
Supreme Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1,499
Miami, Florida, United States
Gender: male
Number quandary at Health centre
Jun 22nd, 2007 at 11:21pm
 
http://www.forres-gazette.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/1571/Number_quandary_at_H...

<<
NHS GRAMPIAN have refuted claims that changing the 0845 telephone number back to a local number would improve the system for users.

This follows criticism by a local businessman who wanted to replace the 0845 337 1120 Forres Health Centre number with an easier to remember local number in order to cut costs for callers, particularly those on a fixed tariff who pay extra for dialling 0845 numbers.

A new telephone system was installed at the health centre earlier this year by Grampian NHS, following well-documented problems with the old system which completely crashed last year, leaving staff with no phones for a 24-hour period on one occasion.

When it was installed, practice manager Theresa Byrne explained the practice had no choice as to what system was installed, but had been assured that it was the best option as recommended by the communications experts, and was already in use in other health centres across Scotland. She warned at that point that callers on a fixed tariff might be affected.

Since then, reaction has been mixed on the new number and automated system. At the moment those dialling the 0845 number have to make selections according to what service they require.

If they choose to hold for an appointment – with a maximum number of callers able to hold at one moment – they are charged for holding, and if they cannot get through, they have to call back – each time incurring the expense of making the call, where previously they would have received the engaged tone.

The system is currently configured to allow four calls to be answered with a maximum of three people waiting to be answered in the queue. So during busy times, this can cause problems.

The phone system is something that has been raised and discussed both at Forres Community Council and also at the Forres Local Neighbourhood Forum by the vice-chairman of both organisations, Bob Hellyer, who said the phone system number could be changed to a local number which would cost less and be easier for people to remember.

"Each 0845 number has to be associated with a geographic number, ie an 01309 or 01224 number, which is the number we want," he said, after contacting Opal Telecom, who are the service providers of the health centre's 0845 number.

"I am not arguing to go back to the old system," he said, "but this would not negate the advantages of the press 1, press 2 system, and would ensure that all those on an all-inclusive telephone tariff would pay no more."

He added: "The additional cost to these people is the basic issue, judging by the complaints that we have received.

"Personally, I would rather go back to an engaged tone, which costs me nothing."

He said the current system did incur an additional cost for all users compared with the old system, regardless of their telephone providers, whereas if you could not get through with the old system then it cost you nothing.

"Currently, as soon as you are connected via the 0845 system you are paying for the call until you are finally connected to a person or not, as the case may be," he said.

In reply to questions raised about the system by the neighbourhood forum, a health service telecommunications spokesman wrote to Mr Hellyer.

He explained that the network-based system offered callers a choice of options in order to route their call accurately and efficiently.

He said the cost of using the NHS 0845 number was 3.36 pence per minute with no set-up fee and calls charged on a per second basis, whereas a call on a standard BT residential line to an 0845 number would have a call set-up fee of 2.55p and be charged at 3.36p per minute rounded up to the next whole minute.

He added that the low cost-service was seen as advantageous to the vast majority of patients calling their health centre.

"The deployment of this particular system allows NHS Grampian to be confident that all calls can be routed and handled accurately and efficiently," he said, "regardless of the type, age or capability of telephone systems at our many sites throughout the NHS Grampian estate."

He said that NHS Grampian would not give out local target numbers but would continue to ask patients to utilise the 0845 service.

"To be clear, our 0845 number does not simply route to a single number but each option routes, potentially, to a different number," he said, adding that the 0845 number could also re-route calls in emergency or disaster recovery situation.

"NHS Grampian has full control over where each option is presented, and this allows us to change the target number, answer location and even insert time of day restrictions in order to address any given situation," he concluded.

"If NHS Grampian were to give out the local target numbers for our service, we would not be able to ensure that all callers were re-routed in the case of emergency or disaster recovery.

"This would be an unacceptable situation as we need to be confident that we handle all calls regardless of our answer location."

He claimed that the service NHS Grampian provides could be compromised if they released the geographic telephone numbers associated with the 0845 service.

...
Back to top
 

As from November 21, 2013, I no longer participate in the forum and am unable to receive private messages.
 
IP Logged
 
idb
Supreme Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1,499
Miami, Florida, United States
Gender: male
Re: Number quandary at Health centre
Reply #1 - Jun 22nd, 2007 at 11:21pm
 
...

Following questions raised by the "Forres Gazette", NHS Grampian repeated that they were happy with the operation of the 0845 system which allowed calls to be queued, presented and answered in a fair and efficient manner, as were the majority of their callers.

"The system gives the health centre access to 'real time' and historical statistics," said a spokesman.

"This allows health centre managers to understand and address the peaks and troughs associated with incoming calls.

"The 0845 system also gives us complete, instant control of how our calls are handled and answered in an emergency or disaster recovery situation."

He said they were also convinced that the new system was proving popular with patients, with many positive comments received by GPs at the practice.

He added that although they understood the concerns raised by the Forres Neighbourhood Forum, the beneficial operating functions would be lost if they were to issue a local number.

"This would ring directly to the health centre and bypass the special equipment," he said. "If we issue a local number, we would no longer get the benefits of the system."

After studying responses, the local neighbourhood forum chairman, Iain Brodie, said the group had taken the issue with the telephone system as far as possible, and did not want to highlight the issue further if the majority of people were satisfied with the system.

Meantime, NHS Grampian revealed that the telephone system was particularly busy at 8am on the Monday morning, when the vast majority of calls were being made.
>>
Back to top
 

As from November 21, 2013, I no longer participate in the forum and am unable to receive private messages.
 
IP Logged
 
Dave
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 9,901
Yorkshire
Gender: male
Re: Number quandary at Health centre
Reply #2 - Jun 23rd, 2007 at 8:13pm
 
idb wrote on Jun 22nd, 2007 at 11:21pm:
When it was installed, practice manager Theresa Byrne explained the practice had no choice as to what system was installed, but had been assured that it was the best option as recommended by the communications experts, and was already in use in other health centres across Scotland. She warned at that point that callers on a fixed tariff might be affected.

Ms Byrne is evidently not knowledgable in the telecoms field having consulted "communications experts". Choice, of course there was a choice, but no doubt that these "experts" were salesmen for a telco and were therefore pushing what would best suit them and justification came in the form of "other surgeries do it".

"Might" clearly shows her ineptitude with regards this decision. Ms Byrne, what about those who aren't on inclusive packages but use the likes of 18185 to make 01/02 calls, or those who call from mobiles or a BT Payphone because they don't have their own phone........  Roll Eyes

Quote:
"Each 0845 number has to be associated with a geographic number, ie an 01309 or 01224 number, which is the number we want," he said, after contacting Opal Telecom, who are the service providers of the health centre's 0845 number.

Opal Telecom, say no more......  Lips Sealed Lips Sealed Lips Sealed
...

Quote:
In reply to questions raised about the system by the neighbourhood forum, a health service telecommunications spokesman wrote to Mr Hellyer.

[…]

He said the cost of using the NHS 0845 number was 3.36 pence per minute with no set-up fee and calls charged on a per second basis, whereas a call on a standard BT residential line to an 0845 number would have a call set-up fee of 2.55p and be charged at 3.36p per minute rounded up to the next whole minute.

If this is a telecommunications spokesman, then what hope is there?

Firstly, he says that 0845 calls do not incur a setup fee from BT residential landlines. Then he says that 01/02 numbers do, and it is 2.55p, which is excluding VAT. The relevant page on The BT Price List is here and says it applies to all residential customers dialling 08xx numbers (excluding freephone numbers, I presume).

He has the bit right about whole minute charging applying to 01/02 numbers but not 0845. This is about the only bit he hasn't mislead on.

The 3.36p/min is also exclusive of VAT and the total is brought to 3.95p/min. This is the non-discounted rate a minority of people pay when on LUS and the like.
Back to top
« Last Edit: Jun 23rd, 2007 at 8:46pm by Dave »  
 
IP Logged
 
Heinz
Supreme Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1,362
Essex
Re: Number quandary at Health centre
Reply #3 - Jun 23rd, 2007 at 8:27pm
 
Dave wrote on Jun 23rd, 2007 at 8:13pm:
He said the cost of using the NHS 0845 number was 3.36 pence per minute with no set-up fee and calls charged on a per second basis, whereas a call on a standard BT residential line to an 0845 number would have a call set-up fee of 2.55p and be charged at 3.36p per minute rounded up to the next whole minute.

If this is a telecommunications spokesman, then what hope is there?

Firstly, he says that 0845 calls do not incur a setup fee from BT residential landlines. Then he says that 01/02 numbers do, and it is 2.55p, which is excluding VAT. He has the bit right about whole minute charging applying to 01/02 numbers but not 0845. This is about the only bit he hasn't mislead on.

The 3.36p/min is also exclusive of VAT and the total is brought to 3.95p/min. This is the non-discounted rate a minority of people pay when on LUS and the like.

Or, to put it another way, he thinks a smoke and mirrors presentation of the figures with a few inaccuracies thrown in will fool most of the people most of the time!

Unfortunately, he's right.  The last 10 years work by our prime minister-in-waiting proves it (yes, I am one of those who will pay more tax as a result of the cutting of the basic rate of income tax from 22p to 20p and the simultaneous, but carefully hidden [in the Red Book], abolition of the 10p income tax rate).
Back to top
« Last Edit: Jun 23rd, 2007 at 8:35pm 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
WWW  
IP Logged
 
garnettm
Newbie
*
Offline



Posts: 6
Morecambe UK
Gender: male
Re: Number quandary at Health centre
Reply #4 - Jun 25th, 2007 at 10:51am
 
0845 6345634 is the number I need to call to get through to my GP.

I find that on my phone bills I get repeated charges for just a few seconds of time as they charge all of us  for recieving the engaged tone.

BT says it is not their problem and the surgery has not sorted ot the problem in over a year as my latest bill still shows these entries.

I believe that this is wrong and nobody is resolving the problem. Does anyone else have any ideas how widespread this charging is for other GP surgeries?

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Ian01
Supreme Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 744
Re: Number quandary at Health centre
Reply #5 - Jun 30th, 2015 at 7:56pm
 
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
(Moderators: Forum Admin, Dave, bbb_uk, CJT-80, DaveM)

Website and Content © 1999-2019 SAYNOTO0870.COM. All Rights Reserved.
Written permission is required to duplicate any of the content within this site.

WARNING: This is an open forum, posts are NOT endorsed by SAYNOTO0870.COM,
please exercise due caution when acting on any info from here.


SAYNOTO0870.COM » Powered by YaBB 2.5.2!
YaBB Forum Software © 2000-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Valid RSS Valid XHTML Valid CSS Powered by Perl Source Forge