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NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers (Read 163,590 times)
sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #60 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:03pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 at 1:44pm:
/ 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?
/


Actually we did have a free mini bus running between Horsham, Crawley & Redhill hospitals for staff as well as patients, sadly this was withdrawn about a couple of years ago see here http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-170124390.html also here http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/district/Hospital-bus-petition-success.3396579.jp

I believe there is still folk trying to get the service restored

As regards to your point why not free telephone calls to and from hospitals, well if phoning to a hospital and the  number was a geographical number then it would be 'free' within the inclusive packages that are on offer.

Usually I agree with what you say SilentCallsVictim but I am afraid  on this subject our views seem to differ and I am very pleased that Barbara sees my point of view.
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« Last Edit: Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:08pm by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #61 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:37pm
 
sherbert wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:03pm:
Actually we did have a free mini bus running between Horsham, Crawley & Redhill hospitals for staff as well as patients

This is great and to be applauded as a way of addressing a particular local need, where this is a proper and affordable use of NHS resources.

I am aware of other multi-site hospital trusts that continue to provide a similar facility. There are a number of hospitals that have a free "golf buggy" taxi service within a single site, staffed by volunteers and made possible by donations and sponsorship. I firmly believe that these valuable and useful additional services should not be undermined by demanding that they must be provided universally. With the NHS as it is, we must leave room on top for voluntary effort, sponsored add-ons and philanthropic activities to complement universal provision; these must not be drawn into the field of normal provision, nor allowed to unduly distort it.

It is an enormous, and I believe improper, step to jump from these positive situations to suggest that free transport from home to hospital must be provided everywhere and for everyone as a matter of right. This is just as silly as suggesting that because BT offers inclusive calls to 0845 numbers, use of 084 numbers does not need to be banned.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #62 - Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:51pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 at 2:37pm:
This is just as silly as suggesting that because BT offers inclusive calls to 0845 numbers, use of 084 numbers does not need to be banned.



I accept that point  Embarrassed
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Stoday
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #63 - Oct 2nd, 2009 at 5:01am
 
Of course hospitals should charge for parking. The charge should be great enough to give an incentive for patients and visitors to use public transport. So if it costs, say, 50p for a bus ticket from town, the carpark should cost £2 — double the cost of using public transport.
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Heinz
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #64 - Oct 2nd, 2009 at 7:35am
 
Stoday wrote on Oct 2nd, 2009 at 5:01am:
Of course hospitals should charge for parking. The charge should be great enough to give an incentive for patients and visitors to use public transport. So if it costs, say, 50p for a bus ticket from town, the carpark should cost £2 — double the cost of using public transport.

When my Mother was in hospital, my wife and I visited every day.  We lived 40 miles away and, using public transport, would, fairly typically of this country, have involved travelling on 3 buses and 2 trains, would have taken in excess of 3 hours in each direction and would have cost £47 each way.

Needless to say, we use our car for the cost of (ignoring insurance, VED, depreciation and so on) just under 2 gallons of petrol - say £10.  Are you saying we should have paid £94 to park our car?  If so, for how long, an hour, per hour?

How would the cost have been established?  Would a long questionnaire have to be completed by each visitor with an adjudicator then assessing each application?
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« Last Edit: Oct 2nd, 2009 at 7:38am 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 #65 - Oct 2nd, 2009 at 9:05am
 
Stoday wrote on Oct 2nd, 2009 at 5:01am:
Of course hospitals should charge for parking. The charge should be great enough to give an incentive for patients and visitors to use public transport. So if it costs, say, 50p for a bus ticket from town, the carpark should cost £2 — double the cost of using public transport.



Great idea if there is any decent public transport. Sadly in my neck of the woods it would take three hours each way to do the twenty mile  journey by public transport and then a good walk from where the bus stops near the hospital. For the other hospital which is twenty miles in the other direction, I would guess you would need to set out the day before.

Great to pontificate if you have a good public transport system, but sadly most of us haven't. Sad
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #66 - Oct 2nd, 2009 at 10:02am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 1st, 2009 at 1:44pm:
...  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.

I hope that the recent exchanges have demonstrated the difficulties involved in resolving the issue of car parking.

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Sep 30th, 2009 at 7:20pm:
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.

A simpler way of making my point would have been to say that use of revenue sharing telephone numbers by the NHS is plainly and simply unacceptable. The cases for and against particular levels of car parking charge in particular areas for particular people are much more complex.

(Within this thread, and indeed this forum, we should try to keep our comments relevant to the topic. I declare a passionate concern about the NHS and am myself guilty of being drawn off-topic.)
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Barbara
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #67 - Oct 2nd, 2009 at 10:39am
 
Here, here, Heinz & Sherbert!  Where does Stoday live?   In some parts of the country, it is not even possible to complete a return journey on the same day, there was an infamous situation quoted in the West Country, I think, but not anywhere particularly remote, where people needing to use the bus from a particular village to access the nearest town for shopping etc could travel to the town on say a Tuesday but couldn't get a return bus until say Thursday!   In our village (about 45 miles from central London) there are outlying parts which are in excess of two miles from the nearest bus stop (never mind the infrequency of the service) - is Stoday suggesting that sick people, probably unable to walk very far at the best of times, should walk over two miles to catch a bus (there might be two or three a day on market days) to the nearest town where they would have to wait for a bus to take them part of the way then change & wait again?   For a 9am appointment possibly?   Get real, not everyone lives in urban areas although we in the countryside are more than used to being ignored in all things!!
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Stoday
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #68 - Oct 3rd, 2009 at 3:03am
 
I said "as an incentive" not to ensure public transport is used exclusively. You can't have different car parking prices according to where users live. The cost of a bus from the nearby town is the relevant journey.

Clearly,  some users will find it more difficult and expensive to travel by public transport than others, eliminating the incentive. They could choose to travel by car as a cheaper option.

The marginal cost of a car journey is a lot lower than the average running cost and this produces a perverse incentive to use a car instead of public transport (which includes a taxi). The provision of free car parking increases that incentive. I see no good reason why the NHS should subsidise those fortunate enough to be able to run a car and are still capable of driving. The provision of car parking is a resource that has value. I've suggested a way of identifying that value, by relating it to the cost of a bus from town. An alternative indication of value would be to set prices such that the car park gets filled for most of the day.

Of course, costs should be offset for patients who need frequent visits, such as for cancer therapy and dialysis. In such cases there should be a subsidy for travel or for carpark costs, in everyones favour, car driver or not.



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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #69 - Oct 3rd, 2009 at 9:20am
 
Stoday wrote on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 3:03am:
I said "as an incentive" not to ensure public transport is used exclusively. You can't have different car parking prices according to where users live. The cost of a bus from the nearby town is the relevant journey.

Clearly,  some users will find it more difficult and expensive to travel by public transport than others, eliminating the incentive. They could choose to travel by car as a cheaper option.

The marginal cost of a car journey is a lot lower than the average running cost and this produces a perverse incentive to use a car instead of public transport (which includes a taxi). The provision of free car parking increases that incentive. I see no good reason why the NHS should subsidise those fortunate enough to be able to run a car and are still capable of driving. The provision of car parking is a resource that has value. I've suggested a way of identifying that value, by relating it to the cost of a bus from town. An alternative indication of value would be to set prices such that the car park gets filled for most of the day.

Of course, costs should be offset for patients who need frequent visits, such as for cancer therapy and dialysis. In such cases there should be a subsidy for travel or for carpark costs, in everyones favour, car driver or not.






First paragraph.....

Why not? It happens already, it is different in Wales and Scotland and they are in the same NHS

Third paragraph....

Why stop here? What about stroke victims, patients that have been in horrific car crashes, people who have been beaten up by thugs on a Saturday night, etc. etc.?

What about the person  who wants to visit their friend/relation who has been unfortunate to have been hospitalised for a period of time are you are seriously suggesting that what Heinz stated in his post is acceptable (in paying out all that money to visit someone)?

I guess by the structure and the tone of your posts, you live in a city with adequate transport to deliver your good self to your local hospital when you need. As I said before, it is impossible to use public transport in my neck of the woods to go to a hospital , (unless you want to take a week off first)

You are forgetting we pay a huge amount of money to the NHS via our contributions every month. What you are saying is, like having your car repaired at the garage and then them saying , oh by the way we are charging you for parking here until we get around to do it.

Oh dear Stoday I fear you are not living in the real world
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #70 - Oct 3rd, 2009 at 2:03pm
 
sherbert wrote on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 9:20am:
You are forgetting we pay a huge amount of money to the NHS via our contributions every month.

Having urged us to stop discussing this issue in depth in this thread, I cannot resist being drawn back in by this consumerist argument.

The fundamental principle of the NHS is that it is paid for by progressive taxation (by the fit and well) and provided to those in need regardless of their level of contribution.

The matter of encouraging a shift from the private car to public transport is an important issue of public policy, but immensely difficult and complex to effect fairly. It does become part of the consideration of hospital car parking charges. The issues are indeed commonly different between urban and rural areas. I do not have the figures to hand, but I suspect that the population distributions between the two are different for Wales and Scotland as against England. Populist politics sadly causes universal application of whatever is seen to suit the majority, that is not democracy.

The argument that poor provision of public transport in rural areas justifies free parking for visits to urban hospitals is no more valid than the reverse argument. Please can we agree that there is no single simple rule on this matter that must be applied in every case.

Apart from the consumerist irrelevance quoted above, the arguments being advanced are all reasonable, but they apply to different situations differently, confirming my point.

This is different to the matter of use of revenue sharing telephone numbers which cannot be justified for the NHS in any situation.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #71 - Oct 3rd, 2009 at 2:09pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 3rd, 2009 at 2:03pm:
Having urged us to stop discussing this issue in depth in this thread


Okey doke, I have made my point and will now cease as this will go on and on.
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Barbara
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #72 - Oct 3rd, 2009 at 4:58pm
 
OK, will stop but only after I've again agreed with Sherbert!  (can't stand this "green" nonsense anyway, makes my blood boil, not good for health).
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Stoday
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #73 - Oct 4th, 2009 at 3:20pm
 
Well, we can all agree that 0845 numbers should not be used by hospitals even though we disagree about car parking charges. The latter was wandering too far off topic, so I too shall shut up about it.
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« Last Edit: Oct 4th, 2009 at 3:20pm by Stoday »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #74 - Oct 4th, 2009 at 5:06pm
 
We can continue the discussion by PM or email, or in any public forum that someone would like to suggest. We can move onto prescription and dental charges, eye tests, treatments not sanctioned by NICE, private treatment in NHS hospitals, NHS treatment in private hospitals and any other topic.

I am starting to get interested in the matter of retail concessions within NHS premises. I am also concerned about proposals to locate NHS facilities, other than pharmacies who require a retail element to their business, away from a proper healthcare setting (e.g. within a supermarket).

Perhaps the most disturbing proposal is the idea of bringing "care services" within the scope of the NHS. As these are currently funded quite differently, there is a severe danger that a combined service would have to sacrifice its clear principles beyond the point to which they are heavily qualified already.


There is a deadline by which the question of whether or not premium telephone charges are to be banned must be resolved.

The Health Bill returns to the floor on the Commons on 12 October for its final stages before Royal Assent (it started in the Lords). Whilst the main discussion will be around tobacco advertising, its first section imposes a legal duty on NHS providers to have regard to the NHS Constitution. This includes to right to treatment without charge apart from exceptions "sanctioned by parliament".

There is currently no sanction for the use of telephone numbers that cause patients to incur a premium charge to the benefit of the user. The Department of Health appears to believe that there will come a time when there is no surcharge by any telephone service provider on calls to 084x numbers. Until that point arrives (I hope and believe that it never will), use of 084x numbers must either be banned or sanctioned by parliament.

Before the Bill passes without an amendment to add such a sanction, it is vital that the position regarding the ban is clarified. If the situation remains as it is, or if it is clarified to not cover 084x numbers, then on the day that the Health Bill becomes law I will personally attempt to commence the appropriate proceedings against every NHS body using a 084x number in defiance of the law. (Compliance by GPs needs to be enforced through the terms of their contract, so that will have to wait if the contract is going through a lengthy process of amendment, which one would hope to influence.)

I hope that others will join me in lobbying MPs and Ministers to ensure that we have a proper resolution.
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