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Mid Essex Hospital Trust abandons its 0844 numbers (Read 13,854 times)
Andrew_S_Hatton
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Mid Essex Hospital Trust abandons its 0844 numbers
Mar 31st, 2010 at 11:23am
 
Not only do they use an 0844 number, the alternative number they publish for "Overseas Calls" is 01908 code, Milton Keynes area, which is more than a local phone call charge away from Chelmsford.

Interestingly there are still some 01245 code Chelmsford area numbers listed under their link on Saynoto0870, so well done and thanks.

I note that their Complaints and praise numbers and PALS are all 01245, interesting!! http://www.meht.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/compliments-comments-and-complaints/


[edit]Thread title changed in light of Mid Essex's abandonment of 0844 numbers[/edit]
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« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2010 at 12:20pm by Dave »  
 
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Barbara
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #1 - Mar 31st, 2010 at 1:50pm
 
Don't worry about the 01908 dialling code; since 1st July 2004 there has been no such thing as "local" rate, (I think there may be one obscure exception),  you can call Lands End for the same price as your next door neighbour, all calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers cost the same regardless of location - hence the many complaints on this site about the deceptions practised by so many organisations who claim calls to 0845 are "local rate"!.   The issue I would have is that would someone in Milton Keynes be able to answer any question you may have relating to hospitals in Chelmsford?
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Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #2 - Mar 31st, 2010 at 7:37pm
 
Barbara wrote on Mar 31st, 2010 at 1:50pm:
since 1st July 2004 there has been no such thing as "local" rate, (I think there may be one obscure exception),  ....   The issue I would have is that would someone in Milton Keynes be able to answer any question you may have relating to hospitals in Chelmsford?


Thanks for that, I did not know, about the end of "trunk calls". That was not well published.

I had already made the other point in conversation at home, however a Milton Keynesite has a better chance of knowing something about the location of Chelmsford than an Asian person, who I consulted about a train journey recently, he had no sense of UK geography and I was trying to decide whether to route a journey to Lake District from Essex with a stop off in Liverpool, via Warrington or Runcorn. After I spelt the name of the start station three times and helped him with pronunciation and he still had no idea where I meant, I just said thanks for trying and hung up.

This is a consequence of Call Centre Britain, and I just accept it now.

Thanks again to Dave, for the advice on how to make a call, I am sorry I was not clear in explaining, I no longer needed to make the enquiry because the info I needed came from another source. I really do not want to abuse anyone's time especially when they have set this whole thing up and continue with it.
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Dave
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #3 - Mar 31st, 2010 at 10:35pm
 
Andrew_S_Hatton wrote on Mar 31st, 2010 at 7:37pm:
I had already made the other point in conversation at home, however a Milton Keynesite has a better chance of knowing something about the location of Chelmsford than an Asian person, who I consulted about a train journey recently, he had no sense of UK geography and I was trying to decide whether to route a journey to Lake District from Essex with a stop off in Liverpool, via Warrington or Runcorn. After I spelt the name of the start station three times and helped him with pronunciation and he still had no idea where I meant, I just said thanks for trying and hung up.

This is a consequence of Call Centre Britain, and I just accept it now.

I would not read anything into the fact that the geographic number is a Milton Keynes one.

I have called the 0844 822 0002 and the 01908 849003, one, the latter being published by the Trust for overseas callers. I can confirm that they both answer with exactly the same IVR (menu).

Options are 1. wards; 2. Accident and Emergency; or hold for an operator (switchboard). I think it's fair to assume that selecting a ward number or Accident & Emergency will put you through to a respective 01245 number. Clearly, if I ring up to speak to ward 12 at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford the call won't be answered in Milton Keynes!

So I see no reason why the switchboard should be any different. It's quite likely that when you hold (as opposed to selecting option 1 or 2), then it forwards you to 01245…whatever.


In response to your other point about your experience with National Rail Enquires, I advocate people look-up timetables and the like online. This applies equally to many other services as well.

When you telephone a helpline, it is likely that the person you are speaking to provides information taken from a computer screen; they don't know it from the top of their head. These days, with the internet, the information can often be gleemed from websites.

The point you make is that the person you spoke to didn't know the geography and spelling of the origination and destination of your planned journey. Even if the person had been aware, they would still have consulted a computer to tell them the train times. They would then relay that information to you via speech down the telephone.

So the telephone is essentially adding another link to the chain of communication. You tell the person origination and destination stations, they input that into their computer and then read back (some of) the results that it returns. It's a very clumbersome and archaic process when you consider you can bring up the same information on your own computer in a matter of seconds.

There is lots of information there (e.g train timetables) and that which can be relayed verbally can be liked to viewing it (timetables) through a pin-hole.
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drichard
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #4 - Dec 10th, 2010 at 9:51am
 
Mid Essex Hospitals are changing their telephone numbers back to local codes (01245) from Saturday 4 December 2010.

The change is being made to coincide with the move of services and wards into the new PFI hospital wing at Broomfield. From Saturday 4 December all 0844 numbers (with the exception of the appointments line) will be re-routed to a recorded message advising callers of the change of number.. This facility will be turned off on 31 March 2011 when communication with the public regarding the new telephone number and updates to external directories will be complete. The 0844 appointments line will work in conjunction with the new 01245 number until 31 March 2011, to allow ample time to communicate the new telephone number on patients’ appointment letters. After this date the hospital will use only contact numbers prefixed with the local code, 01245.

Graham Ramsay, chief executive of Mid Essex Hospitals, said: “As a result of the move into the new hospital wing and the re-modelling of all other wards on the Broomfield Hospital site, it has been necessary to review and revise the hospital’s external telephone numbers. This provided us with the ideal opportunity to fall into line with national strategy and change our externally facing telephone numbers to the 01245 prefix.

“We recognise that using 0844 numbers has caused problems for some members of the public and our patients, so I am pleased that we have made this decision. It will make contacting the hospital easier and cheaper for everyone. We have already contacted those members of the public who wrote to us with concerns about the 0844 numbers in the past, so this demonstrates that we do listen and act upon the feedback that we receive.”

The new main switchboard number will be 01245 443673 and the appointments line 01245 513900.

A full list of the trust’s telephone numbers can be found on the website at www.meht.nhs.uk.
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Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #5 - Dec 10th, 2010 at 12:15pm
 
drichard wrote on Dec 10th, 2010 at 9:51am:
Mid Essex Hospitals are changing their telephone numbers back to local codes (01245) from Saturday 4 December 2010.

The new main switchboard number will be 01245 443673 and the appointments line 01245 513900.

A full list of the trust’s telephone numbers can be found on the website at www.meht.nhs.uk.

Excellent, thanks for the news - well done to the campaigners!
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GRuuur! to Mid Essex Hospital Trust.
Reply #6 - Dec 11th, 2010 at 9:02am
 
Please see this posting for more information on this story.
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Dave
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Re: Mid Essex Hospital Trust abandons its 0844 num
Reply #7 - Dec 11th, 2010 at 3:19pm
 
I've updated the listings with the new numbers, as listed on the Trust's website. Where a 01245 number has replaced a 0844 one, I have put a note to that effect.
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