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Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consultation (Read 197,153 times)
NGMsGhost
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #180 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 10:04pm
 
Dave wrote on Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:48pm:
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.

Do we know any more about this particular telecoms company and why it is they are so willing to attack other traditional covert revenue share NTS numbers in favour of lower profit 03 numbers?
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #181 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 10:26pm
 
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

The point that is missed is that use of 084 numbers DOES provide the additional functionality. The revenue share money earned from callers is used to pay for it, wherever it is technically deployed.

The issue is about money, not technology.

NGMsGhost wrote on Sep 29th, 2009 at 9:20pm:
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.

It is for the DH to consult when and how it chooses and to handle the responses in whatever way it wishes.

It is for respondents who wish their responses to be seen in the public domain to publish them. There are links to two from the NHS.Patient website. If many more were published, I would happily arrange a proper catalogue.

The situation has however now moved on with the consultation having concluded and largely produced the effect that we wished for. The right words have been spoken by the Minister in response.

They have however been combined with some very silly words and largely ineffective action is being taken. There may be some merit in drawing from the unhappy past, however we must be focused on moving forward to a happier future.

(P.S. I note that other postings have been made since those I am responding to. I have nothing to add.)
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #182 - 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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Dave
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #183 - Oct 8th, 2009 at 4:10pm
 
Source: Southport Visiter

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2009/1...

<<

NHS will end premium-rate call charges to Southport surgeries

Oct 7 2009  by John Siddle, Midweek Visiter

PATIENTS, who were charged up to 40p a minute to ring Southport surgeries, are quids in after the NHS decided to scrap premium rate telephone calls.

St Marks Medical Centre, Derby Road and Ainsdale Medical Centre are among those currently using controversial 084 and 085 prefixes, which sees callers charged 4.2p per minute from a BT landline and up to 40p from a mobile.

Now, after a consultation with MPs, changes in tariffs mean patients will still dial 084 numbers but will only pay for the cost of a local call.

The changes, which will be introduced over the coming months, have been welcomed by Southport MP, John Pugh.

He said: “High cost phone numbers have been creeping like a disease throughout the NHS and other public services.

“People have no choice but to phone and we should not be profiting from the sick.”

[…]

>>


This twaddle about tariffs being changed continues. St Marks Medical Centre should do the right thing and publish its geographical number, 01704 511799.
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« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2009 at 4:15pm by Dave »  
 
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Heinz
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #184 - Oct 8th, 2009 at 7:22pm
 
Dave wrote on Oct 8th, 2009 at 4:10pm:
Source: Southport Visiter

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2009/1...

St Marks Medical Centre, Derby Road and Ainsdale Medical Centre are among those currently using controversial 084 and 085 prefixes, which sees callers charged 4.2p per minute from a BT landline and up to 40p from a mobile.

There's that cost quoted excluding VAT gain.

It's 5p per minute unless you have a way of avoiding paying VAT!

BTW, the standard of journalism can be judged by the reference to non-existent "085 prefixes"
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« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2009 at 7:26pm 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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derrick
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #185 - Oct 9th, 2009 at 12:44pm
 
Heinz wrote on Oct 8th, 2009 at 7:22pm:
There's that cost quoted excluding VAT gain.

It's 5p per minute unless you have a way of avoiding paying VAT!

BTW, the standard of journalism can be judged by the reference to non-existent "085 prefixes"


As I am sure you know even you are not correct  Wink from 1st October the cost for a daytime chargeable 01/02/03 call from BT is 5.25ppm with a 9.05p set up fee, source,BT Tarrif Guide
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #186 - Oct 9th, 2009 at 1:44pm
 
We all have a way of avoiding paying VAT at 17.5%. We stay out of our time machines.

The correct rate for the call to the surgery in question from BT is 4.894 pence per minute (including VAT at 15%).

The 9.05p setup fee applies to most residential customers.
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #187 - Oct 9th, 2009 at 5:13pm
 
derrick wrote on Oct 9th, 2009 at 12:44pm:
Heinz wrote on Oct 8th, 2009 at 7:22pm:
There's that cost quoted excluding VAT gain.

It's 5p per minute unless you have a way of avoiding paying VAT!

BTW, the standard of journalism can be judged by the reference to non-existent "085 prefixes"


As I am sure you know even you are not correct  Wink from 1st October the cost for a daytime chargeable 01/02/03 call from BT is 5.25ppm with a 9.05p set up fee, source,BT Tarrif Guide


Sorry Heinz, I,(still), keep mixing up/forgetting the 0844 & 01/02/03 numbering set up Embarrassed
maybe they are getting to me Grin
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #188 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 9:55am
 
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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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #189 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 12:03pm
 
Article on page 12 of todays' Sunday Post

Ban on costly calls to surgeries

http://www.dcthomson.co.uk/mags/post/postindex.htm

DOCTORS’ surgeries and hospitals are to be banned from imposing premium-rate phone numbers on patients.

Some have been charging up to 40p a minute more than standard costs for calls to make appointments.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon is to put pressure on NHS boards and GP practices to replace the numbers with cheaper alternatives.

The move will bring Scotland into line with England, where a ban was announced last month following a public outcry.

Premium rate

Dozens of medical practices use premium rate 084 numbers that enable them to collect a portion of the charge paid by callers.

Under the new rules the 084 prefix may still be used but the tariff must be adjusted to ensure patients only pay the equivalent of a local call.

This is already the case with calls to NHS 24.

Last night Margaret Watt, of the Scotland Patients’ Association, called for any profits already generated from the numbers to be repaid.

She said, “These numbers are a tax on the sick. We welcome the ban but NHS boards and GP practices should be forced to reinvest any profits made from them back into front-line health services.”

Doctors and dentists were prohibited from using national rate 0870 numbers more than four years ago.

But it emerged during an Ofcom consultation earlier this year that many had switched to high-tariff 084 lines instead. While not as expensive as 0870 numbers, these are still much dearer than a local call.

Not penalised

Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee, agrees that patients who call their surgery because they’re ill should not be penalised.

He said, “These numbers are not widely used by GP practices.

“However, we hope phone companies who supply these lines to practices in Scotland will agree to ensure that their tariffs are in line with local charges. This principle should apply to all public services.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is investigating the feasibility of switching NHS 24 from its current 0845 number to a special three-digit non-emergency code.

Previous plans to make all landline calls to NHS 24 free were ditched because of the £300,000-a-year estimated cost.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said, “We strongly believe patients should be charged as little as possible when they contact health services.

“GP practices should be encouraged to ensure new contracts ensure patients are charged the lowest rate possible and in the case of existing contracts, that GPs enter into talks with their provider to achieve revised agreements that would see patients pay the lowest rate practicable.”
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #190 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 8:20pm
 
More muddled journalism and meaningless political rhetoric.

I predict it will result in no action and NHS use of 5p/minute 0844 numbers will be allowed to continue now that BT, still the largest calls provider (and, despite so-called competition, the one the others follow), has raised its standard weekday daytime rate for 01, 02 and 03 calls (for those not on their Unlimited Anytime Plan) to 5.25p/minute.
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« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2009 at 8:28pm 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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NGMsGhost
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #191 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 9:41pm
 
Heinz wrote on Oct 18th, 2009 at 8:20pm:
I predict it will result in no action and NHS use of 5p/minute 0844 numbers will be allowed to continue now that BT, still the largest calls provider (and, despite so-called competition, the one the others follow), has raised its standard weekday daytime rate for 01, 02 and 03 calls (for those not on their Unlimited Anytime Plan) to 5.25p/minute.


Even though 0844 numbers are almost never included in mobile phone bundled minutes or landline call packages and BT Payphones division still charges 1800% more per minute to call an 0844 number than a number starting 01/02/03. Shocked

I presume New Labour reckons they will have been booted out of office by the time the chickens home to roost and that the incoming Conservative government will then be forced to pick up the pieces. Angry
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #192 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 10:01pm
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Oct 18th, 2009 at 9:41pm:
I presume New Labour reckons they will have been booted out of office by the time the chickens home to roost and that the incoming Conservative government will then be forced to pick up the pieces. Angry
We may have to wait a very long time to see an incoming Conservative government in Scotand.

The government may be different, from time to time and place to place, but the civil service remains the same.

It will be interesting to see where the governments would find the extra money to replace that currently being paid by NHS patients.They are already looking to not only reduce the current account defecit but also pay off the National Debt.
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #193 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 10:20pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Oct 18th, 2009 at 10:01pm:
It will be interesting to see where the governments would find the extra money to replace that currently being paid by NHS patients.They are already looking to not only reduce the current account defecit but also pay off the National Debt.


Once again SCV you return to that self defeating argument in an open public forum where our opponents will be reading what we post.  I am surprised that one normally so conscious as you of the dangers of entering in to arguments that undermine what the campaign is trying to achieve now does so in this open public forum.  Oh but hang on aren't you now a one man NHS phone calls campaigner who does your own thing so as not to have the logical inconsistencies in your own campaigning positions exposed.  If so then what are you doing posting here?

The money can always be found to do things when there is the political will.  Just look at Iraq or Afghanistan and the cost of making these change to phone numbers used for call centres is utterly piffling amounts that is of no consequence at all in the overall context of the budgets of the organisations we are talking about.  The amounts of money involved are only significant to the parasites who vend these numbers to the public sector.

I remain at a loss to understand why as a supposed suporter of this campaign you suddenly start advancing arguments that I would expect to hear only from Network Europe Group or from some slimey chief executive of a local authority paid over £200,000 per annum and with a Marie Antoinette like attitude towards the cost of phone calls by their local residents.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors' phone line use reviewed - DH consulta
Reply #194 - Oct 18th, 2009 at 11:54pm
 
I have strongly supported the general position taken by O'Brien (S), Penning and Lansley over the matter of the NHS Constitution in the Health Bill and I look forward to their statements when the truth about the so-called "ban" emerges, as I hope it will in the next few days.

As is rightly said, the money that is necessary will be found. We are however where we are because nobody has succeeded in finding a clever way of dealing with the problem of the GPs under contract to NEG with the blessing of the Department of Health and its Scottish equivalent. None of us would agree with a pay-off, but no alternative has come forward. The Political problem is with making any public statement that involves additional public expenditure (or loss of income) at present. Great Political capital can be earned from comments about catering in the Palace of Westminster, whereas we do not hear costed pledges of even the most modest additional spending (unless one believes that it is OK for non-domiciles to evade their tax liability whilst the present inheritance tax regime is in place).

The point about revealing campaigning tactics to enemies is fairly made. We are now however at the stage where this matter has to be opened up to proper public debate. It risks being pushed under the carpet due to inevitable confusion about BT tariffs. There is nothing to be gained by hiding the truth by pretending that we are not calling for additional public expenditure on some scale, as we are also calling for businesses to cover their costs through their properly declared prices, rather than hidden extras. I hope that this is not part of a hidden agenda or an embarrassing secret for the campaign.

I hope that the campaign does not subscribe to the school of thought which suggests that the problems of the financial services sector can be addressed by re-couping the money from senior staff remuneration. Please do not tell me that the money lost by abandoning revenue sharing can all come out of the salaries of doctors, senior civil servants and private sector executives, or that it will be distributed around out of the money saved by telephone companies in not having to pay for Ofcom, when it is abolished by a new government.
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