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NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers (Read 163,580 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #45 - Oct 13th, 2008 at 2:14am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:06am:
... those NHS acute trusts who are still using revenue sharing 084x numbers: ...

Further research has produced a list of 40 NHS Trusts using revenue sharing numbers; it is available here.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 084x rip-off numbers
Reply #46 - Oct 29th, 2008 at 2:04am
 
Dave wrote on Oct 28th, 2008 at 8:44pm:

See also Help offered to sex assault victims - Press Association.

"A person who has experienced sexual assault or rape can visit Hope House SARC or can make contact by telephone."


The new Sexual Assault Referral Centre is organised by:

Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust - 08454 221500 and Gloucestershire Constabulary - 0845 090 1234

It is hosted by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 0845 222 222, at the Hope House Sexual Health Clinic - 08454 226 201


Doubt has been raised about which number should be called.

So far as I can see, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 084x rip-off numbers
Reply #47 - Oct 29th, 2008 at 2:35am
 
Update - Hope House Gloucester SARC

Since the information contained in the previous posting was assembled, two new items have appeared on the internet.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/10/28/rape-victims-forced-to-pay-f....

http://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/Other/Hope%20House%20SARC/item7954.html.

Whilst the latter item may contain good news for those who are able to arrange for a sexual assault to take place during office hours, I do not believe that it was available to the journalists at the time when they prepared their pieces. They also apparently contacted those who may have known about the alternative number that may be used to avoid calling the hospital switchboard, the Police, the PCT or the out of hours number.
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Dave
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #48 - Feb 27th, 2009 at 4:42pm
 
http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/phone-number-city-hospitals/article-7...

One phone number for all city hospitals

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 09:30

Patients calling hospitals will only have to remember one number from today.

Managers at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have brought in a single number for its three sites the infirmary, General and Glenfield.

Patients, visitors and the public can call 0300 303 1573.

It is the second attempt at bringing in a single number.

Last year, the trust quickly ditched a decision to bring in an 0844 number after a public outcry about the cost.
Click here!

Darren Brown, head of telecommunications for Leicester's hospitals, said: "We originally chose 0844 as a single-number prefix but, following concerns raised by members of the public that an 0844 number could end up costing more, we looked at this again.

"We listened and learned and we've ditched 0844.

"Our new number is recognised by call packages and pre-pay mobiles and, unlike 0845 and 0844 numbers, callers cannot be charged any more than they would pay if they were calling a local number."

John Aird, the trust's information technology chief, said: "We wanted to make calling our hospitals easier and this number helps us to do that.

"Our switchboard operators answer more than a million telephone calls every year 80 per cent within five rings."

The old telephone numbers will be phased out over the next few months.

Initially, calls will be automatically redirected, but by March callers to the General using the old number will hear a recorded message advising them of the new number.

Old numbers will not be switched off until the trust is satisfied the public is aware of the new number.
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Dave
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #49 - Apr 5th, 2009 at 4:41pm
 
Source: Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

http://www.midyorks.nhs.uk/NR/rdonlyres/FDA3BBB5-CBD8-4D8A-8F14-010F37D10B1E/697...

Freedom of information Act request

Income generated from use of 0844 telephone numbers


The 0844 number covers all of our hospitals and enables us to better manage the large volume of calls we receive from patients and visitors in a quicker and more efficient way.

Our four hospitals serve a population of more than half a million people and the benefit of having our current system means that we not only have the capacity to take a large number of calls at any one time, but callers only have one number to remember when contacting any of our hospitals.

Because we know that some telephone providers now have lower standard rates and cheaper packages, we have publicised the direct telephone numbers for our wards and departments for anyone who has these inclusive packages. These have been made available to our local GPs and to our patients when they attend their appointment. We have also advertised in the Yellow Pages and we are looking at advertising in other directories.

We have also posted a contact form on our website for patients so that they can change or amend an appointment, or make a general enquiry, without picking up the phone.

Since the introduction of the 0844 number in summer 2006, the Trust has received income in the region of 82k. This money has been reinvested into services at the Trust to ensure that we deliver high quality care to our patients.


Response issued by
Assistant director of corporate affairs
5 February 2009
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #50 - Apr 5th, 2009 at 5:09pm
 
Dave wrote on Apr 5th, 2009 at 4:41pm:
Since the introduction of the 0844 number in summer 2006, the Trust has received income in the region of 82k.

One must assume that the Trust will have no problem making up for the loss of this wholly improper source of income, and perhaps meeting further costs that have been funded in the same improper manner, when it changes over to a 03 number in the very near future.
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #51 - Apr 6th, 2009 at 10:03am
 
Going off topic a bit but still to do with hospitals, I found this from the Daily Telegraph staggering 100 million last year from hospital car parks?



Hospitals 'should continue to charge patients for parking'
Hospitals should continue to charge patients and visitors for car parking, despite raking in around 100 million last year, according to the body which represents healthcare trusts.


By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:27AM BST 06 Apr 2009

NHS Confederation said that the fees, which can range from 2 a day to 3 an hour, were "often necessary" because running car parks was expensive.

They were also useful to deter non-visitors from clogging spaces, it said.


However, the report, called "Fair for all, not free for all", said that it recognised that having to pay for parking could affect many patients treatment as well as their financial situation, and recommended that some be offered concessions.

The NHS in England is thought to have made around 100 million over the last year charging hospital patients and visitors to park their cars.


At the same time charges have been abolished in all but three hospitals in Scotland and are being phased out in Wales, following announcements from their devolved assemblies. Critics said that the charges were a "tax on the sick" and called for the charges to be scrapped outright.

The report recommend that some staff and patients, for example dialyses patients who need to visit hospital regularly, should benefit from cheaper car parking.

But it insists that hospitals need the revenue to ensure that medical services are not affected.

The report also says that hospitals should also be allowed to spend any extra money they make from car parking charges to improve patient care.

Additionally, some hospitals, particularly those in city centres, need to charge to deter non-visitors using parking spaces to visit nearby shops, the confederation, which represents 95 per cent of NHS organisations, warned.

Mike Hobday, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "You cannot have a 'fair' parking policy when it is morally wrong to force cancer patients in England to pay to park at hospital while they have their treatment.

"This report puts the rights of hospital managers to be independent above the rights of patients to receive their healthcare free.

"The NHS must do much more than pay lip service to this important issue. Many hospitals are still ignoring guidance issued over two years ago which said that people travelling regularly to hospital must get free or reduced parking.

"As a result cancer patients have been left struggling to meet parking charges. England must catch up with the other nations and scrap this tax on illness."

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: "If parking charges are damaging patients' access to services, stopping their friends and relatives from visiting or impeding staff from doing their job properly then they're clearly too high."

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said that patients forced to visit hospital on a regular basis should have guarantees that they would be charged at a discounted rate.

He added: "The Department of Health already has guidelines in place but they are often flouted."

But Joe Farrington-Douglas, senior policy manager at the NHS Confederation, said that hospitals were in a difficult position.

"Hospitals need to balance the demand for free parking with ensuring access for those patients and visitors who really need to drive, reducing carbon emissions and funding the costs of running car-parks," he said.

"There should have the freedom to set policies locally to ensure they provide fair access but not always free parking.

"There is no doubt that car parking can become a controversial and heated issue, especially when you have very ill people who need to be driven to hospital for regular treatment or night workers who have no option other than the car because of the hours they work.

"For their part hospitals feel the need to charge for parking, both to recoup the cost of running their car parks and to prevent their misuse.

A spokesmen for the Department of Health said: "We do not think it a sensible use of tax payer's money to subsidise free car parking at hospitals for anyone who wants to use it."

The report also recommended that hospitals should consider the environment when considering transport to their facilities.
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Heinz
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Still OT - NHS hospital car parking
Reply #52 - Apr 6th, 2009 at 11:25am
 
............. and you should see the number Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's 'parking enforcement officers' patrolling the roads around Southend General Hospital (now, ridiculously, called Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) to try to catch those trying to avoid the charges by parking on nearby streets!
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« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2009 at 11:25am 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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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #53 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 1:51pm
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #54 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 7:20pm
 
sherbert wrote on Sep 30th, 2009 at 1:51pm:

There are some very proper issues of concern around car parking, but it is important to distinguish between the principles involved with that and those involving revenue sharing telephone numbers.

It is right for the patient to incur their own costs (i.e. those of a normal call from their chosen provider) when contacting the NHS, but not to pay a premium to the benefit of the NHS provider.

It is reasonable for most patients to incur transport and associated costs when visiting a hospital. If there is normally a charge for parking in the area where the hospital is located, then car parking costs would be a normal expense. If a hospital is able to provide free or cheap parking as a sensible use of land that it has, then that is great. If a hospital is clearly exploiting patients and visitors then that is wrong.

I do not believe that existing NHS facilities should necessarily be turned into free public car parks, which is what would be achieved by a simple ban on car parking charges. Each situation is different. If the land used for a car park was not required by a hospital for any other purpose (e.g. possible future development) then it would be best for the NHS for this to be sold off if the hospital was not permitted to itself charge for car parking.

If someone is going to claim the right to park for free when attending a NHS hospital, then a lot of central London hospitals are going to incur some enormous expenses.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #55 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 8:18am
 
Sorry SilentCallsVictim for once I am going to have to disagree with you.

I do not think it is acceptable if someone is in hospital for some time and their visitors are expected too pay ridiculous car park charges to   visit a patient. Down my neck of the woods, if you visited some one on a daily basis for a week , you would be forking out over 50 a week. This can't be right. If you had to go to A & E for any reason, a four hour wait is costing you in the car park (rather like being kept on hold on a rip off telephone number) and that is before you are seen by a doctor, the car park costs are mounting up as you wait to be  treated. No wonder there are less and less volunteers doing hospital visits.

Scotland & Wales have banned these charges, so should England. After all we are supposed to live in the 'United Kingdom
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #56 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:43am
 
I did say -

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Sep 30th, 2009 at 7:20pm:
If a hospital is clearly exploiting patients and visitors then that is wrong.

It does not follow that a central London hospital should be required to pay the car parking costs of all patients and visitors (I should have added, staff). I do not think it right that a hospital that happens to have spare land that can be used for car parking should be obliged to sell it off or lease it out so that a private operator can use it to make money, because the hospital itself is not allowed to charge.


sherbert wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 at 8:18am:
After all we are supposed to live in the 'United Kingdom'


This argument would appear to suggest that the recent announcement on this topic by the Secretary of State for Health for the government of the "United" Kingdom should apply to all parts of it. One cannot oppose what is referred to as the "postcode lottery" and also oppose central control. The suggestion that the UK be governed from Cardiff (Holyrood followed in the matter referred to) is interesting.


These arguments come very close to the nonsense proposed by the Liberal Democrats - that all telephone calls to public bodies should be free to caller. Speaking for myself, I do not want to weaken the strong argument that we hold by stretching it to ridiculous extremes.
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Barbara
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #57 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:55am
 
I'm with Sherbert on this 100%, I think it is a tax on the sick to charge for car parking, no one (unless insane!) goes to hospital by choice, it is a medical necessity, sickness itself often causes people greater expense than everyday life.  In many areas, there is NO alternative to using the car to get to hospital (mainly but not exclusively rural as buses in urban areas do not always go where travellers may need).  SCV's point about expensive parking in an area is not relevant as one might avoid areas where the parking is expensive but one cannot do this with regards to a hospital.  Our nearest hospital (Addenbrookes) charges extortionate rates, offers only a multistorey car park (not nice for perhaps vulnerable people and elderly women alone at night visiting relatives) and all, whether patients or visitors, face a very long walk as the site is so large.  Admittedly, in 2007 (don't know about now) they did offer a season ticket for anyone with a relative as an inpatient but, often particularly in emergency admissions, you don't know how long the person will be in there so is a season ticket worth it (only if longer than a week), also they don't volunteer the information, a nurse told us to ask.   Employees are also charged so, for example, someone we know who works in the labs can be called in any time of the day or night to perform essential tests eg on an organ for transplant but has to pay to park!   That is EVIL.

The problem of use by people not patients or visitors used to be resolved at Addenbrookes by having specific car parks for different groups eg out patients where an attendant checked appointment letters.   Now, of course, they can rake in even more by keeping people waiting beyond appointment times (not just in A&E) so they exceed their ticket & can then be fined!

To me, charging for car parking at hospitals is a tax on access to health care, simple as that and as such breaches the NHS principles.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #58 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:45pm
 
From today's DailyTelegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6247325/Hospital-car-parking-charge...

Of course I doubt any of this will happen. It wont happen until after the election and the Conservatives have not, to my knowledge, made any comments on this subject.

I guess Labour's point of view, it makes good election propagander and as they know they wont get in and they can say anything. Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:46pm by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #59 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 1:44pm
 
Noting the Telegraph item, has anybody seriously considered the cost to hospitals that do not happen to have sufficient car parking facilities? Mr Burnham will find that his vouchers will not be accepted by private car park providers and local authorities with controlled parking schemes without some appropriate payment. Almost all planned car parking provision underestimated the level of demand. Under-provision is now deliberate in an attempt to discourage use of private cars.

I did refer to Andy Burnham's announcement previously. The Telegraph is quite wrong in saying that "similar announcements" have been made in Wales and Scotland; they are far more radical and are not planned for introduction in three years time.

There are many injustices in the way that the costs of our love affair with the private car are distributed. The impact of the difficulties involved in properly assessing the level of need for a public parking space, so as to ensure that limited spaces are allocated fairly sit very high amongst these. In a consumerist world we end up resorting to price as the answer to everything. If anyone can propose a realistic way in which all hospitals can resolve this issue, I would love to hear it. If we are to add free car parking to one's rights under the NHS, then why not free transport for those who do not use their cars (a lot cheaper in many cases) and why not free telephone calls to and from hospitals?

The pain referred to is real and wrong. The simplest remedy is not however the only one that should be considered.
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