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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 624,911 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Apr 19th, 2011 at 11:52pm
 
A feature on BBC Radio Sheffield on Tuesday morning covered the story of local GPs topping the national league table for expensive telephone numbers.

Listen to a recording of the Radio Sheffield coverage
  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:25 Interview with campaigner Dave Lindsay
  • 3:48 Vox pop from the people of Sheffield
  • 5:00 Promotion of saynoto0870.com by "Bob from Chapeltown"

View the list of South Yorkshire surgeries    /     View the whole league table

- and also use other features on the listing:
  • follow a link to "
    add your views
    " to the surgery entry on
    NHS Choices
    .
  • follow a link to
    send an email
    to
    the MP

The Yorkshire Post also covered the story.
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« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2011 at 1:31pm by Dave »  
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Dave
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #1 - Apr 23rd, 2011 at 9:08pm
 
There is a recent posting in the Which? blog about this:

http://conversation.which.co.uk/money/gps-using-expensive-0844-phone-numbers/
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Dave
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #2 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 5:11pm
 
This story is in today's edition of The Star, South Yorkshire's evening newspaper, and it appears on page 4:

GP surgeries are still using premium rate dialling codes
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #3 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 6:10pm
 
Yet more fame and recognition for SayNoTo0870 and its campaign founder.

From the lunchtime edition of BBC TV Look North - http://tinyurl.com/dhtiny/tele?44.

Local followers may see more in the extended 6.30 edition!
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other COUNTRIES)
Reply #4 - Apr 29th, 2011 at 5:59pm
 
The situation with the GP contract is identical in Wales, even though Health is totally devolved matter.

Noting this piece in a South Wales newspaper, I have added a further blog entry - "GIG Bwrddau Lechyd ..." including a listing by "NHS Health Boards in Wales" (to translate) of all GPs in breach of their contracts.

If any cyfieithydd Cymraeg would like to help, please get in touch - e.g. does the phrase "ddim yn y man o angen" resound in the valleys?

"Our NHS" belongs to all UK citizens, even though the governments which arise from our national and local parliaments and assemblies manage it for us through the personnel which they appoint.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #5 - Apr 29th, 2011 at 6:01pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Apr 27th, 2011 at 6:10pm:
Yet more fame and recognition for SayNoTo0870 and its campaign founder.

From the lunchtime edition of BBC TV Look North - http://tinyurl.com/dhtiny/tele?44.

Local followers may see more in the extended 6.30 edition!

The extract is now updated to show the (slightly extended) 6.30 edition.
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Dave
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #6 - Apr 29th, 2011 at 7:46pm
 
From Rotherham Advertiser:

http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/89311/rotherham-doctors-accused-over-p...

Quote:
A spokeswoman for NHS Rotherham said: “The majority of our practices use the 0844 numbers or a local number.

“Calls to 0844 numbers are charged at the same rate as a local call when dialed from a landline.

“The remaining three practices use a different telephone system provided by Network Europe Group that begin with 0845.

“NEG have confirmed that patients telephoning these practices are charged no more than the equivalent cost of a call to a geographical number.”
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #7 - May 1st, 2011 at 6:27am
 
Local and national media coverage of this issue, since the 1 April deadline, is growing nicely and more is expected. Some of it has been discussed in this thread.

To help those who wish to follow the developing story, I have assembled a news feed for this specific topic, excluding my own published contributions which are seen in my general topic feed. The feed content is available to view by following this link. One may also "subscribe" (no charge) to receive updates as items are added, either by email or through a "feed viewer".

Members may wish to discuss these items in this forum, or simply draw attention to them for the benefit of those who use the forum as a "news digest".
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« Last Edit: May 1st, 2011 at 5:03pm by SilentCallsVictim »  
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Dave
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #8 - Jun 9th, 2011 at 11:03am
 
A new interactive map of charging GPs right across the UK has been drawn up. This blogging explains it, as well as the inner-workings of 084 numbers and why they contravene the NHS' policy of free at the point of need:

http://nhspatient.blogspot.com/2011/06/nhs-gps-using-expensive-telephone.html
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Dave
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More silly silly lies about 0844 GP call charges
Reply #9 - Jun 23rd, 2011 at 9:04am
 
Source: South Wales Evening Post

Assurance on GP phone rates

Quote:
Some patients feared their bills would rocket, as 0844 numbers from a mobile phone can cost between 12p and 41p a minute.

But the telephone provider has confirmed the costs of calls are being kept low.

A spokesman for Network Europe Group, which provides the number to the Adfer group, said: "The 084 numbers are allowed to be continued as long as patients don't end up paying more than calling a local geographical number.

"In order to comply with regulations, the surgery has to obtain a letter from its service provider to show that the rate at which the number is set costs no more than calling a local number.

You would have thought that these people were intelligent enough to work out that such a letter is worthless as patients' call rates are set by their own providers. A quick look at just a few such tariffs shows that patients do pay more.
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Heinz
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #10 - Jun 24th, 2011 at 5:15pm
 
But it's an NEG text, you don't expect it to be truthful, do you?
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« Last Edit: Jun 24th, 2011 at 5:16pm 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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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #11 - Jun 24th, 2011 at 6:03pm
 
Heinz wrote on Jun 24th, 2011 at 5:15pm:
But it's an NEG text, you don't expect it to be truthful, do you?

Sadly it is the BMA advice to members.
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Dave
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #12 - Jun 24th, 2011 at 8:52pm
 
A story published by the Ongar Gazette today:

084 number costs some BT callers 13p a minute

A HEALTH centre is being accused of charging patients premium rates to call its phone number.

Patients using the Ongar Health Centre have complained they are being charged more than the cost of a standard call when calling the surgery.



Comment from a senior partner at the surgery:

However, Doctor Hugh Taylor, a senior partner at the surgery, said patients were being "penalised" by their phone providers, not the surgery.

"The difficulty is that people who sign up with alternative contracts get penalised by their phone companies for phoning an 084 number, when they should not be," he said.


Patients are being "penalised" by their phone companies!?  Roll Eyes

What is he on about? Retailers that sell products tend to pass on their wholesale cost to customers. Things that cost more at a wholesale level also cost more at retail level. Or does he not understand this principle?


He then went on to say "We are charging a good rate for people who are on a fixed BT land line."

For starters, the surgery doesn't make the charge, the surgery's telephone provider doesn't make the charge, it is each individual patient's telephone company that charges. Even where that provider is BT, it is still BT that bills the caller.

As a campaigner for fair telecoms, I deplore that any organisation (as receiver of calls) should seek to influence the choices of callers as many 084x number users do, what with "local rate" et al.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #13 - Jun 26th, 2011 at 8:54pm
 
Dave wrote on Jun 24th, 2011 at 8:52pm:
As a campaigner for fair telecoms, I deplore that any organisation (as receiver of calls) should seek to influence the choices of callers as many 084x number users do, what with "local rate" et al.

I see it as perfectly fair for users of business and premium rate numbers to seek to influence the choice of callers by soliciting calls, or even suggesting alternative means of contact for those who are unhappy to pay the "service charge". I cannot see how one may object to that in principle, on grounds of fairness.

Material misrepresentation of call costs, and on other points, is however a totally different matter, which must be deplored from all quarters. That is simply wrong, regardless of any consideration of what may or may not be "fair".


For Dr Taylor to state that "we are charging a good rate" is a complete misrepresentation of the reality of the situation. Neither Dr Taylor nor any agent of the practice is responsible for setting the charges that telephone callers pay. (The only exception may be Talk Talk, Dr Taylor's own telephone service provider, who he claims to be "penalising" his patients by offering call inclusive packages.)

Dr Taylor is entitled to suggest that the subsidy he earns should not be paid for by callers to the surgery. This is however only his opinion and he fails to suggest what alternative source of funding should be used and how this could be reflected in the terms of the type of alternative telephone calls package which he argues should be used. Some may agree and this matter could be debated at length, however it is totally irrelevant to the matter in hand which relates to the situation which exists in fact. Ofcom is in fact moving in the opposite direction to that proposed by Dr Taylor as it proposes to remove BT's obligation to cross-subsidise the cost of calls to all NTS numbers and to make the "service charge" element of call costs more transparent.

In making his argument Dr Taylor is out of step with the BMA, which proposes that patients should indeed provide this subsidy, if it is being used to provide a higher quality service to patients. This proposal was however rejected when the contract revisions covering use of 084 numbers by NHS GPs were agreed. In response, the BMA now encourages its members to achieve its policy objectives by deceit - pretending that no additional cost is incurred by callers, despite the fact that this is demonstrably untrue and acknowledged by Dr Taylor.

Dr Taylor has totally missed the point by suggesting that his contract only covers those cases where the relative cost of a call to the surgery, as against that of an equivalent call to a geographic number, is set by GPs themselves. Despite his attempt to pretend otherwise, there are no such cases, and that is not what is specified in the terms of his contract with the NHS. His contract explicitly requires him to have regard to "the arrangement as whole", not just some alternative contract options.


This is one of a number of cases involving the North Essex PCT cluster which are receiving attention at present. It will be interesting to see if perhaps there could be a positive outcome. (If anyone reading this message is involved as a patient in another case, please get in touch.)
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Barbara
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #14 - Jun 27th, 2011 at 2:04pm
 
There have been many posts about GPs etc misrepresenting the costs paid by their patients to 084X numbers and this is rightly deplored BUT is anyone pointing out these "errors" to the GPs that they are, in fact, wrong, misleading and misrepresenting call costs to their patients and also being in breach of DOH regulations?  In asking this, I'm not trying to pass a big job onto someone else on the forum but surely it would be a great idea if, rather than just rehearsing the arguments and scandal of this among ourselves, there was perhaps something prepared which any of us using the forum could pass on to these GP surgeries & other NHS bodies when we find they are in breach?  I suggest something be prepared because I think it would have more impact if the wording and aspects emphasised was always identical, I know we can refer to various blogs & documents etc but just something brief & to the point, particularly if it came from several people saying exactly the same thing ie some kind of concerted campaign - what does anyone else think?
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