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NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers (Read 163,593 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #75 - Oct 7th, 2009 at 2:57pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 4th, 2009 at 5:06pm:
I hope that others will join me in lobbying MPs and Ministers to ensure that we have a proper resolution.

Part of the action that I have taken is in a circulated briefing.

Please feel free to copy any of the points made in your own lobbying.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #76 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 9:52am
 
My, unusually Political, blog on the effects of the concluding stages of the Health Bill deliberations in parliament is found at:
http://nhspatient.blogspot.com/2009/10/theft-of-nhs.html.

It is highly relevant to this topic.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #77 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 8:13am
 
Barbara wrote on 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.


According to today's Daily Telegraph NHS car parks earn more than £100 million. The most profitable hospital was at Epsom and St Hellier University Hospitals NHS trust in Surrey which clamped 1,671 cars and made £1.85 million profit. Angry

Hospital car parking is free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so much for a United Kingdom. Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2010 at 8:14am by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #78 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 2:00pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 8:13am:
...
Hospital car parking is free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so much for a United Kingdom.

This posting appears to be calling for the abolition of the devolved "national" parliaments and assemblies, so as to remove the capacity of their governments to prohibit hospital car park charges. I am sure that the author will be happy to explain the point at whatever length is necessary, if there is perhaps a more complex proposal lying behind the argument that is being advanced.

I do not intend to continue, or provoke, a full debate on the difficult issue of how far responsibility may be devolved in the management of our National Health Service, which covers all of our United Kingdom (we sadly suffer from the word "National" having two different meanings). Efforts to address the topic of this thread do expose aspects of this issue. It can however be fully and effectively addressed without having to consider constitutional change within the NHS in England or elsewhere, let alone at any more fundamental level.

Furthermore, I do not believe that the principles of the NHS demand that patients incur no incidental costs in accessing NHS services. I do not wish our campaign to be seen as a call for NHS providers to offer free telephone calls, by associating it with that for them to offer free car parking. (If the NHS is to be required to meet the costs associated with transport that patients incur when attending a Hospital as a matter of right, I believe that this right must extend well beyond patients and their visitors who are able to park on land that happens to be owned by the Hospital.)

I see the demand that telephone callers are not subjected to a surcharge due to use of revenue sharing numbers to be quite adequate for restoring the principles of the NHS. I fear that in trying to press the issue further we risk weakening our case. Calling for more control to be exercised centrally is a position unlikely to attract much support, so I put aside my serious concerns about the legitimacy of some bodies (not the national governments) holding devolved powers.


If the above points are "on topic" I hope it is therefore acceptable to duplicate the essence of a posting made in another thread, as it is relevant to NHS hospitals on ALL 084 rip-off numbers.

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 12:19am:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Dec 24th, 2009 at 2:21am:
Members may be interested to note that the Directions to NHS bodies referred to in the September 14 Statement were issued on Monday afternoon.

The formal directions accompanied a "Dear colleague" letter.

...
The first public declaration of a failure to properly comply with these Directions has now appeared, just before half way into the period within which action is required. I refer to this and comment at even more than normal length in this blog posting.

Members may wish to follow the common pattern of copying chunks of the NHS Devon Statement into the forum for all to comment.

Whilst I address the NHS Devon statement in detail, I am most concerned about getting Ofcom to support the Department of Health in bringing an end to the nonsense, of which this is just one example. In an odd way, I am very grateful to NHS Devon for having helped to bring this into the open.

I hope that other campaigning members will join me in putting pressure on Ofcom to issue some clear statement of the status quo, regardless of what it may be planning for the future.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #79 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:17pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 2:00pm:
sherbert wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 8:13am:
...
Hospital car parking is free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so much for a United Kingdom.

This posting appears to be calling for the abolition of the devolved "national" parliaments and assemblies, so as to remove the capacity of their governments to prohibit hospital car park charges. I am sure that the author will be happy to explain the point at whatever length is necessary, if there is perhaps a more complex proposal lying behind the argument that is being advanced.

I do not intend to continue, or provoke, a full debate on the difficult issue of how far responsibility may be devolved in the management of our National Health Service, which covers all of our United Kingdom (we sadly suffer from the word "National" having two different meanings). Efforts to address the topic of this thread do expose aspects of this issue. It can however be fully and effectively addressed without having to consider constitutional change within the NHS in England or elsewhere, let alone at any more fundamental level.

Furthermore, I do not believe that the principles of the NHS demand that patients incur no incidental costs in accessing NHS services. I do not wish our campaign to be seen as a call for NHS providers to offer free telephone calls, by associating it with that for them to offer free car parking.




If Scotland Ireland & Wales want to run their affairs seperatly from England then so be it. Let them have their independence and let us stop dishing out money from Whitehall and get rid of their MPs from Westminster. However for once I agree with SCV, this is going off topic.

With regards to what SCV describes as 'incidental expenses', I do not accept that having to pay upwards of £60 a week for the privilege of visiting your nearest and dearest in a hospital bed to be either fair or morally correct. Why is it that only England are charging for these 'incidental expenses'?

I have no problem in seeing  our campaign to be seen as a call for NHS providers to offer free telephone calls, by associating it with that for them to offer free car parking. I will continue to campaign for free hospital car parking in England, here and elsewhere whether SCV likes it or not.
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« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:23pm by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #80 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 6:44pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:17pm:
With regards to what SCV describes as 'incidental expenses', I do not accept that having to pay upwards of £60 a week for the privilege of visiting your nearest and dearest in a hospital bed to be either fair or morally correct. Why is it that only England are charging for these 'incidental expenses'?

Campaigners on this particular topic will be aware that the previous Secretary of State introduced limited measures to address this issue for England. We have yet to see whether these will be allowed to go ahead by the present government.

I can appreciate the concern expressed for a particular case. Would this not be the same if one had to travel by taxi, if the hospital had no car park, or if one had to use an alternative chargeable car park some distance away because the free hospital car park was filled with the cars of hospital staff and contractors or others who were not currently attending the hospital?

I regret to say that I believe a potentially complex, locally-devised scheme of exemptions and discounts for in-patients, out-patients, patient visitors, volunteers, staff, contractors and others with business at the hospital to be the only fair and morally correct way to proceed. The issues of how much parking space a hospital must provide, how it rations inadequate space that it has and how far it should encourage use of public transport also add further complications to the matter.


sherbert wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:17pm:
I have no problem in seeing  our campaign to be seen as a call for NHS providers to offer free telephone calls, by associating it with that for them to offer free car parking. I will continue to campaign for free hospital car parking in England, here and elsewhere whether SCV likes it or not.

I sincerely hope that nobody chooses the subject of their campaigning efforts in order to please me. We disagree, in that I believe the cost of totally abolishing car parking charges on NHS hospital property or subsidising the full cost of telephone calls to the NHS is not justified as an addition to the structural deficit, or in place of other useful expenditure on NHS services.

I am prepared to argue that the cost of the loss of revenue share subsidy on 084 numbers must be carried by NHS bodies and contractors.

Free hospital car parking would undoubtedly be welcomed, especially in areas where free parking is not otherwise available. I believe that the measure would have unintended bad effects and would be unfair to those who have to incur significant costs in travelling to hospitals by other means, or who visit a hospital without a car park (or without any available spaces). There are some who would see it as morally incorrect to introduce a measure that encourages use of the private car.

I do however believe that everything possible should be done to ease, or totally relieve, any burden of incidental cost on those using NHS services.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #81 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 6:59pm
 
As I have said previously it (free hospital car parking) has happened in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, without too much effort, so why is England so special that it can not  be done here? Huh
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #82 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 12:48am
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 6:59pm:
As I have said previously it (free hospital car parking) has happened in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, without too much effort, so why is England so special that it can not  be done here? Huh

An answer to an essentially political question is invited. Some would suggest that the devolved "national" governments find it easy to implement irresponsible populist measures, because they do not have to themselves raise the revenue to cover the cost. It may also be that with a more rural balance of communities there are fewer cases where the unintended bad effects are seen.

Do the measures that have been put in place for England not address the issue?

I continue to battle furiously to see the ill-specified measures that should form the basis for banning use of 084 numbers in England hospitals achieve the intended effect.
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derrick
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #83 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:23pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 2:00pm:
..........on land that happens to be owned by the Hospital.)............




It isn't owned by the hospital, it is owned by us, the taxpayer!
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #84 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:46pm
 
derrick wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:23pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 2:00pm:
..........on land that happens to be owned by the Hospital.)............




It isn't owned by the hospital, it is owned by us, the taxpayer!



Here here.

As soon as people realise that the NHS is owned by the tax payer and by no one else the better.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #85 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:14pm
 
derrick wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:23pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 9th, 2010 at 2:00pm:
..........on land that happens to be owned by the Hospital.)............


It isn't owned by the hospital, it is owned by us, the taxpayer!

Exactly, it is owned by us all, even those of us who do not pay taxes.

Every public asset should be used wisely and economically. If the land is not needed for hospital buildings, perhaps it should be sold off to raise money for the NHS or to reduce the deficit/our taxes; NCP might be interested in buying it!

Should taxpayer's money be used to provide free parking for all NHS hospital staff, patients and visitors? This would be extremely expensive for Central London hospitals and other places where the hospital does not have sufficient land of its own to use for the purpose.

The sooner that people realise that the NHS is owned by us all, regardless of how much we pay towards it through our taxes, and its services are (should be) available to us all without charge, the better.

Car parking and use of the telephone network are not NHS services. There are however particular circumstances (most notably emergencies) where it is appropriate for free telephone calls and free transport to be provided at the expense of the taxpayer. I believe that these should be extended as far as is possible, however the taxpayer must not be pushed too far.

I hope we can agree when I say that the cost of handling telephone calls to the NHS must fall (ultimately) on the taxpayer not on the patient. That is why use of revenue sharing numbers must be ceased.
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loddon
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #86 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:19pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:46pm:
Here here.

.


I think it is usually  "Hear Hear"  Smiley Smiley   sherbert.  Best wishes.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #87 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:52pm
 
loddon wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:19pm:
sherbert wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 2:46pm:
Here here.

.


I think it is usually  "Hear Hear"  Smiley Smiley   sherbert.  Best wishes.



Embarrassed Embarrassed
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #88 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 4:00pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:14pm:
[
Should taxpayer's money be used to provide free parking for all NHS hospital staff, patients and visitors? This would be extremely expensive for Central London hospitals and other places where the hospital does not have sufficient land of its own to use for the purpose.



But surely it always used to be free? I remember when my local hospitals never charged for parking. I also remember visiting my late mother in the Royal Free Hospital in London about 25 years ago and never had to pay to park in their car park. No, what has happened is that they have found a money making scam to screw their customers (patients and visitors) and now they would be in a bit of a hole without that source of revenue. Angry
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #89 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 4:32pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:14pm:
I hope we can agree when I say that the cost of handling telephone calls to the NHS must fall (ultimately) on the taxpayer not on the patient. That is why use of revenue sharing numbers must be ceased.


The patient normally is a tax payer. Roll Eyes
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