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Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consultation (Read 198,068 times)
loddon
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #165 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 2:32pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Sep 17th, 2009 at 2:08pm:
It was not a "promise" but expression of a hope to be able to deliver a "reassurance"



To me "reassurance" means a lot more than "hope".       It means to restore confidence.       It means we can all have "confidence" in the Minister, and thereby in our Government that they will not let us down.        I mean, a Minister assured us in 2005 that we will not have to pay more than the price of a "normal landline number", we were assured again in 2006 and 2007 and now we have at last been "reassured".

We can relax, sure and confident that our Minister has already made sure that we will not pay any more than if we had "dialled a normal landline number".       This is a lot more than mere hope.         The Minister has had his team studying the issue for more than 18 months and having consulted with the medical professionals, with the telecoms industry and even with some experts the problem has been cracked ----- we can be "reassured".

Do you think we need the Minister to confirm his reassurance?
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Barbara
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #166 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 3:06pm
 
Oh, SCV, that is very witty but so terrifyingly probable, as is all the best satire!   I have no faith whatsoever in the goverment and really no more in GPs to act in the true interests of patients (not customers, customers are usually in a willing association, I generally don't want to be ill!)

(PS I noticed, just before I posted this, that I had been logged out of the site but I hadn't done anything to cause that & the computer had been switched on all the time - does anyone know how this could have happened?)
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #167 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 3:10pm
 
Barbara wrote on Sep 17th, 2009 at 3:06pm:
(PS I noticed, just before I posted this, that I had been logged out of the site but I hadn't done anything to cause that & the computer had been switched on all the time - does anyone know how this could have happened?)


This will happen if you have cleared your cookies and or history. I clear both from time to time and then have to log back in, not only to this site but others I have registered with as well....hope this helps.
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Barbara
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #168 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 3:36pm
 
Thanks Sherbert but I hadn't, not even sure I know how to (sounds pathetic).  I think it is this computer again, have had it since January & it has spent more time being repaired than with me, only got it back yesterday after it had apparently had a virus removed & I was still signed in then and this morning, the only time I have ever had to sign in again since registering was when using a new or different computer!
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #169 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 3:54pm
 
Barbara,

I have sent you a PM

Smiley
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Keith
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #170 - Sep 17th, 2009 at 6:51pm
 
Barbara, It has happened to me a couple of times for no apparent reason - the last time a few weeks ago. I hadn't cleared down cookies or history. I have no idea why.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #171 - Sep 18th, 2009 at 6:13am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Sep 16th, 2009 at 3:36pm:
P.S. Members may wish to report a "broken link" on the NEG website. (The item is labelled "NEG government consultation 084 click here")

The published response to the DH consultation, which was available some hours ago, has apparently been removed. This would seem odd, considering the pride in this work that is reflected in the recent comments on the government reaction to it.

All is well,
any technical problems have been overcome; the link from the main NEG website works again. The index page is here.

Mr Rayment can once again take pride in everyone being able to see how NEG demonstrated to the Department of Health that

Quote:
For virtually all patients' calls, the local GPs’ 084 number is not more expensive to call than using an ordinary number

This was achieved using the figures given on this page. The message is delivered by the graphics found on the pages linked from there.

One may see that the phrase "virtually all" only excludes those who make calls lasting longer than 12 minutes. Everybody calls 0844 numbers using the "BT Standard" tariff, even those who suffer the higher setup fee for non-inclusive 01/02/03 calls because they are on a BT call plan (although oddly this group are exempted from the 1 April rate increase to 4.5p!). Even more oddly, those who call 01/02/03 numbers on the “BT Standard” tariff incur the setup fee that applies to call plans.

This is a "fact" (according to the definition of that word employed by NEG). The figure given for 0844 calls is not incorrect. It is just irrelevant and set against figures that are incorrect, leaving the result even more meaningless than it would have been if the correct figures had been used for this highly selective atypical example. This simply makes no useful contribution to the debate, even the corrected figures for these examples do not prove anything of great significance either way.

We can all review these figures and reflect on Mr Rayment's further  quoted comment from Monday.  

Quote:
We were always confident that, once the full facts about NHS telephony services were considered objectively by the Department of Health, the retention of the option to choose 084 numbers would be seen to be the best solution for patients, GPs and the NHS. We congratulate Ministers on their willingness to listen and respond fairly and responsibly to the facts.

To be fair to Mr O'Brien, he may not have been swayed by these "facts". He has not bought them hook, line and sinker. The proposed solution to the problem is stated as being conditional on them being true (which is why it is a waste of time).

Mr O'Brien has however almost echoed NEG's words as it proposes its recommended solution in the Executive Summary of the response.

Quote:
Promote choice for primary care providers and competition between 03 and 084 solutions

This is remarkably similar to the third point in the DH announcement:

Quote:
The ban on the use of numbers charging patients a premium rate to call NHS services will allow a marketplace to evolve where 084 numbers compete alongside 01, 02 and 03 numbers


To my mind the threats contained in the following statement, also from the Executive Summary of NEG's response, explains why we do not yet have a solution to the problem. Unlike some of the nonsense, these comments are serious and require serious attention. I fear that officials have not yet succeeded in dealing with this. They have announced an "outcome" from the consultation, and suggested that an unworkable solution will be implemented, when these serious matters have yet to be resolved.

Quote:
The forced migration of 084 to 03 numbers would remove competition for quality at a local level - forcibly remove existing valued providers from the marketplace - and, in our view, could require a massive and open-ended commitment to taxpayer subsidy which we consider to be unnecessary and unworkable in the medium to long term.
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Dave
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #172 - Sep 23rd, 2009 at 9:29pm
 
Dave wrote on Sep 16th, 2009 at 7:55pm:
Source: Fenland Citizen

http://www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/news/Wisbech-surgery-to-review-call.5651595.jp

<<

Wisbech surgery to review call service following ban

Published Date: 16 September 2009

A WISBECH doctor's surgery has promised to look into its patients' call service following a government announcement banning the use of premium rate numbers by NHS organisations. …

A letter has been published by Fenland Citizen on the topic of North Brink Practice's premium number:

http://www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/letters/Dismayed-by-phone-line-comments.5671773....


Also, other media coverage yet to be reported on this thread:

Source: Worcester News

Counties’ 084 numbers have been changed
7:10pm Monday 21st September 2009

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/4641040.We_have_led_the_way_over_calls_to_NH...


Source: eGov Monitor
Herefordshire Ahead of National Ban On Premium Rate Numbers for Healthcare
Published Monday, 21 September, 2009 - 09:54
http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/28473
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Keith
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #173 - Sep 25th, 2009 at 10:08am
 
Is anyone aware of anything that is happening re the 0844 numbers. Seems everyone is carrying on in their own sweet way with the poor and disadvantaged still being stung when they call their GPs on their mobiles or from payphones.

Hopeless!
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #174 - Sep 25th, 2009 at 11:27am
 
Whilst progress with GPs must await the discussions on the changes to the GMS contract, work on implementing the ban should now be well underway by NHS bodies.

One hopes that proud locally accountable NHS bodies will be sufficiently aware of their duties and obligations not to have to wait until enforcement action is taken against them by government departments, as threatened in the announcement last week.

For those who understand something of NHS politics, it will be interesting to see what happens with Foundation Trusts and private hospitals providing NHS services. This issue was one of those not addressed by the announcement.

Members may be interested to read a message circulated to the media addressed to the leading examples listed on the NHS.Patient web site.
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Keith
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #175 - Sep 25th, 2009 at 5:37pm
 
David,

Thanks for the reply. Also just to let you know I can get into your blog now without any problem and an excellent article it was, as was your letter to the media.

I called my PCT today to ask what was happening. They said they had to get back to me and to their credit they did promptly. However the response is "They are awaiting offical guidelines and timescales".

I am cynical that this will all be ignored generally until enough of a stink is kicked up yet again.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #176 - Sep 25th, 2009 at 7:19pm
 
Keith wrote on Sep 25th, 2009 at 5:37pm:
...
I am cynical that this will all be ignored generally until enough of a stink is kicked up yet again.

Thanks to Keith for the comment and commendation.

I am told that the DH is "working on" the Direction to be issued to PCTs and Trusts, although there is no answer to the question of how on earth an announcement could have been made before this work had been completed. In my published message I have adopted the position that Enforcement Directions should only be necessary in the case of a failure to exercise what is clearly now understood to be a duty to patients by the local independent arms of the NHS.

In truth, nobody likes being told what to do, but equally nobody likes to take responsibility for themselves when someone else could be blamed. This truth is universal, but is seen particularly in the public sector where some balanced sense of where the "public interest" lies has to inform every decision. Devolution to bodies without clear accountability makes decision taking genuinely very difficult. That is why PCTs and other trusts are (wrongly in my opinion) waiting for explicit directions. They will get no directions in respect of GPs until the revised GMS contract has been agreed.

The issue will not be ignored. The stink will come, as soon as there is enough material for it to hit the noses of those who can do what is necessary. A useful piece of excrement came into my hands late this afternoon. If suitably blended and presented it may do the trick. "Watch this space".
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Dave
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #177 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:05pm
 
Some interesting excerpts of a consultation response from one provider which tears into the consultation document for its factual inaccuracies:

http://www.03-number.co.uk/084_government_consultation.htm
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #178 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:20pm
 
Dave wrote on Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:05pm:
Some interesting excerpts of a consultation response from one provider which tears into the consultation document for its factual inaccuracies:

http://www.03-number.co.uk/084_government_consultation.htm


It wasn't the only response to tear in to the consultation though.  Mine did so pretty extensively but as far as I can tell the complacent civil servants at DH never even read most of it.

Why do you think they repeatedly claimed it would be so horribly expensive or difficult to publish all the responses that they received. Smiley Roll Eyes
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #179 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:48pm
 
Dave wrote on Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:05pm:
Some interesting excerpts of a consultation response from one provider which tears into the consultation document for its factual inaccuracies:

http://www.03-number.co.uk/084_government_consultation.htm


One of the quotes from this response states:
Quote:
Consultation Document Page 7:

"GP Practices and other NHS organizations using 084 numbers do not make a profit from 084 numbers. The money generated by 084 numbers goes towards the cost of providing that number and the functions."


There is no stipulation in the provision of revenue-sharing on 084 numbers that the revenue must be assigned to any cost of providing functionality. It should also be stated that the cost of the number and functions has been artificially inflated in the perception of the purchasers to bring it in line with the considerable revenue share that is available from 084 (particularly 0844) numbers. The market cost of such functionality can only be judged if it is isolated from the revenue-sharing arrangements.

This is of course what the whole revenue-sharing number racket is about. Providers' true costs are masked because of the regulation on BT to keep down the amount it retains for originating such calls.
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