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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 707,260 times)
sherbert
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #270 - Mar 8th, 2008 at 2:34pm
 
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mikeinnc
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #271 - Mar 8th, 2008 at 4:50pm
 
I added a comment. Hopefully, many more users of this site will, too.
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rosnted
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #272 - May 3rd, 2008 at 7:26am
 
I have just put 141 before dialling my out of hours NHS service in Hampshire - it worked!
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #273 - Jun 22nd, 2008 at 8:12am
 
I wrote a four or five page email to my M.P. about 08XX numbers especially about doctor's surgeries with the help of forum member Barbara, who kindly gave me some good advice on how to compose my email. I think it is too long to put here but if admin members disagree, I will of course put it here if they request me to do so. I got a reply within a week, which I was most impressed with and having written that here was no such thing as a local call, he mentions in his reply about local call rates!! Also I mentioned all about 03 numbers and he writes to me all about them! Anyway he did reply to be fair to him on very posh House of Commons notepaper, which impressed my wife when she picked up the post!! I have copied the letter here for you to read......

Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email about non-geographical and higher rate 0845 and 0870 numbers.

As you know, numbers such as these are charged at higher rates than their 'standard' national counterparts, and are generally excluded from bundled call packages, and as those available by contract with most static and mobile telephone providers. In certain cases they also allow the recipient of the call to receive a proportion of the overall charge paid by the consumer.

The Conservative party has expressed concern over the proliferation of these non-geographical telephone numbers. In particular, my colleagues and I feel that their use by public service organisations such as GPs and out-of-hours medical services are detrimental to the public good, for the increased cost of such numbers is likely to affect those on low incomes or with chronic illnesses most severely.

One of my colleagues recently tabled an Early day Motion calling for an end to these numbers, which attracted widespread support from all sides of the house. Furthermore, Ivan Lewis Minister for Care Services, intimated that there would be a gathering of evidence by the Government on the issue of 0800, including 0845 and 0870, numbers by public bodies. He also indicated that NHS Direct would not be renewed with an 0845/46/47 prefix, which I welcome.

Ofcom has recently introduced a new 03 number range to be used by the public sector and not for profit bodies, which is charged at local rate and could be included in any lo-cost packages offered by landline or mobile phone companies. This may prove to be a suitable alternative to the use of 0844/0845 numbers.

With regard to your comments on this subject, I have brought the contents of your e-mail to the attention of the appropriate Government Minister and as soon as I have a response, I will write to you again.

The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP
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« Last Edit: Jun 22nd, 2008 at 10:25am by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #274 - Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:03pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 22nd, 2008 at 8:12am:
I wrote a four or five page email to my M.P. ...

Well done, this is a very positive response.

Let us hope that this issue is raised in the debate on the 60th anniversary of the NHS, which the opposition has initiated for this coming Tuesday. It is possible that the government will announce its conclusions following the evidence gathering exercise as it proposes its amendment. (The texts of the opposition motion and government amendment will not be published until Tuesday morning.)

With the principle of "free at the point of need" being breached as patients pay towards the cost of NHS services provided using revenue sharing numbers, the NHS has not survived to the end of its 60th year. There are just two weeks left in which to put this right by ensuring that enforceable regulations and clear directions to give effect to this principle are in place before 5 July.

Francis Maude should draw this matter to the immediate attention of his shadow cabinet colleague, Andrew Lansley, who will be opening this debate. Forum members should note that the relevant government minister is Ben Bradshaw (not Ivan Lewis, who responded to the adjournment debate in January). The other key players are Alan Johnson - Secretary of State for Health, Mike Penning - who shadows Ben Bradshaw for the Conservatives, Norman Lamb – Lib Dem shadow Secretary of State and Greg Mulholland who has been active on this issue as a member of the LibDem front bench Health team.

Mr Maude should also be aware of the role he should be playing as shadow minister for the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office, under Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Ed Miliband, is responsible for use of telephone services by all government departments and other public bodies. It includes the Contact Council, which should be coordinating and directing the overdue move to use of 03xx numbers by all those who have a valid use for non-geographic numbers in the delivery of public services.

(Forum members should note that representations to parliament should normally be through their own MP. Other MPs, government ministers and their shadows are however generally ready to receive helpful briefings on matters relevant to their responsibilities from well-informed sources, although they should not be expected to respond.)
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #275 - Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:18pm
 
I have had a further letter from Mr Maude.

Dear Mr ***********

The Secretary of State for Business Enterprise ans Regulatory Reform has replied to my representations on your behalf about the widespread use of 0800 numbers.

I enclose a copy of the response I have received from John Hutton to the concerns you raised in your recent e-mail. Thank you again for writing to me on this issue.

Yours sincerely

Francis Maude


As my scanner is sick, I have typed out John Hutton's reply. I would just point out that I am not a copy typist and have tried to copy it as acuurately as I can.




Dear  Francis

Thank you for your letter of 19 June, enclosing correspondence from your constituent,  Mr xxxxx of xxxxx about the widespread use of 0800 numbers. I do understand the concerns your constituent raises, and would like to explain the back ground and the action is being taken to address this matter.

The Independent Office of Communications (Ofcom) is responsible for numbering policy in the U.K. The first few digits of a UK telephone number give a broad indication to the caller of the type of service and /or cost of the call with 0870/0871 being the most expensive, 0844/45 in the middles and 0800 Freephone free of charge

There are various reasons why a company may choose to use an 0870 number. The prefix code may give a company a separate clearer identity as well as, perhaps being easier to remember. These numbers can also be used in conjunction with Intelligent Networks to manage calls. An Intelligent  Network is a switching system that enables telecoms companies to process and route telephone calls more efficiently. The BT freephone 0800 and the mid-range 0844/0845 numbers can also be ised by Intelligent  Networks, but whereas a company would have to pay BT for call charges associated with these codes, calls using an 0870 number would not cost the company anyting. There may be revenue sharing arrangements between an organization using an 0870 number and telecoms provider.

It is clearly down to the company’s own commercial judgement to decide what type of telephone number to use and Ocom cannot dictate to companies the type of numbers they must use. Neither can they demand that the link their non-geographical numbers to a local number. There are also price variations, which can be confusing for consumers because two people might dial the same 0870  number but be charged a different rate. The variations are caused by differences in the charges made by different telecoms companies for a call to an 0870 number. For example, a BT subscriber might well pay a different rate to a cable company subscriber, and a call from a mobile phone will probably be significantly higher than both.

Ofcom knows that consumers have concerns that 084 and 087 numbers (including 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871 ranges) are increasingly being used by businesses as a higher priced alternative to ordinary geographical telephone numbers. Ofcom recently undertook a major review of its policy on these numbers. On 19 April 2006 following extensive consultations, Ofcom published a statement, setting out a package of consumer friendly measures. These includeintroducing a new range of 03 non-geographical numbers which will cost no more than the geographical rates, and restoring the link between 0870 prefix and the actual rates charged by telecoms companies for national rate calls, even within discount packages.

These new measures are being introduced over time so, for instance, the introduction of 03 numbers has already started and the alignment of 9870 costs with national rated will come into effect in January 2008. These measures should result in considerably lower prices for consumers. The website address for the Ofcom document is:

www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/nts_forward/statement/

Communications Providers are obliged to publish “clear and up to date information on applicable prices and tariffs” for all calls including 0870 calls. Ofcom has also issued a statement about the publication of the pricing of non-geographical numbers, and has decided that telecoms companies should modify their codes of practice to ensure non-geographical  call prices are given prominence in published price lists and in promotional material for different service packages, including whether or not non-geographical numbers are included in discount schemes. The website address for this document is:

www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/nts_info/statement/statement

For government contact Centres, the Central Office of Information has issued guidance recommending against the use of 0870/0871 numbers for services designed for individual consumers, because of the cost. The guidance recommends use of a geographical number either alongside or as an alternative to the 0870/0871 number. The guidance also draws attention to the relative expense of calling 0844/0845 numbers because they are often excluded from discount packages, and draws attention to the advantages of ne 03 numbers which will be much cheaper to call. This guidance can be found on the internet at:

www.coi.gov.uk/documents/gcc-second-edition.pdf


Yours

John Hutton
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Martin_rosen
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #276 - Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:34pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:18pm:
I have had a further letter from Mr Maude.

Dear Mr ***********

The Secretary of State for Business Enterprise ans Regulatory Reform has replied to my representations on your behalf about the widespread use of 0800 numbers.




I am sure you didn't complain about 0800 numbers.  Grin
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #277 - Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:43pm
 
Actually I did, but  that pre fix he put, referred to the other 08 numbers. I did mention in my original letter about mobile telcom companies charging for 0800 numbers.
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Martin_rosen
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #278 - Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:47pm
 
Apologies for doubting you, but you can see why I was confused !
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ew.walgrove
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Re: Saltaire Medical Practice us of 0844
Reply #279 - Sep 3rd, 2008 at 4:10pm
 
I have had a reply to my e-mail which I sent to Catherine Darlington Business Manager at Saltaire Medical Practice about the GP Practice use of 0844 477 3674.

Hear is the reply:

Quote:
Wednesday 3rd September 2008

Mr Walgrove,

Thank you for your email sent to myself.

Saltaire Medical Practice has used an 0844 number for a number of years and when planning to move into our new larger branch surgery 12 months ago took the decision to have the telephone answered for our whole patient population at the main site.  This has allowed greater investment into the facilities we can offer our patients at both surgeries.

We offer patients a variety of ways of communicating with the Practice – and have recently included online booking of repeat prescriptions and appointments via our website.  We try and maintain a high level of access and continue to provide services such as patients being able to order prescriptions over the telephone and offer at least 8 telephone consultations per GP per day to patients on their mobile phones.  Not all practices offer these services.

I have passed your email to Kath Simons at NEG Surgery Line who may correspond with you under separate cover.  I have copied to Cath Seal in the tPCT Communications Department.

We await the result of the DH Review.

Regards.

Catherine Darlington

Business Manager
Saltaire Medical Practice
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derrick
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Re: Saltaire Medical Practice us of 0844
Reply #280 - Sep 3rd, 2008 at 4:58pm
 


Kath Simons, now where have I heard that name before Grin  You will get no joy from her, just the NEG company line blah,blah,,blah.
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« Last Edit: Dec 16th, 2008 at 1:30pm by DaveM »  
 
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Wenceslas
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #281 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 12:48pm
 
Hi everybody.

Does anyone know an alternate number for the Whitemoor Medical Centre, Whitemoor Lane, Belper, Derbyshire,  DE56 0JB. Their number is 0844 576 9200.

Thanks.
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DaveM
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #282 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 1:41pm
 
.....and about time too !!  Roll Eyes

News this lunchtime says that the Health minister has agreed with us that it's wrong for surgeries to use
084x
numbers as it's too expensive for patients to call them. We told them that when they were going to
087x
and then decided to change to
084x
!

But hey, who the hell listens to us anyway !?

NEG (& the other operators) are (according to them) working with the government on changing this.

It could be very interesting to see how they get round this one now that they've supplied all these expensive switchboard systems to surgeries for nothing. Someone's got to pay for them !!

How about the same systems that are used by Dental surgeries. Do we now have to complain about them as well to get the Health minister to sort that one out ??   Undecided
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« Last Edit: Dec 16th, 2008 at 1:44pm by DaveM »  
 
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sherbert
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #283 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 1:41pm
 
Wenceslas wrote on Dec 16th, 2008 at 12:48pm:
Hi everybody.

Does anyone know an alternate number for the Whitemoor Medical Centre, Whitemoor Lane, Belper, Derbyshire,  DE56 0JB. Their number is 0844 576 9200.

Thanks.


You will be lucky!! Sad
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jrawle
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Re: Doctors Surgeries
Reply #284 - Dec 16th, 2008 at 2:38pm
 
From a scrolling message on their website:

Quote:
From 18.3.2008 we are changing our telephone number to 0844 576 9200.  We do not have an answering machine so you cannot leave a message. If you  try to get local rates by not dialing (01773) the prefix  and direct dialing 576 9200, the call does not come to Whitemoor Medical Centre.  This is a  phone number to a home in Heage.  Whitemoor Medical Centre was formerly Green Lane Surgery.


It doesn't quite make sense. Was the code 01773 before they switched? Whoever lives at that house has an extra reason to be annoyed by the surgery's switch to rip-off numbers. The message also implicitly admits that the 0844 number is expensive to call.

Do you have the number they had before they switched to 0844, so I can avoid "finding" it if it doesn't work any more?

I did find two recent job adverts (October, so after they switched in March) and it gives the number 01773 881148 for people to apply for the job. You could try that as see if they will put you through, or you can at least complain - it might be the practice manager or someone similar. The only references are for jobs at this medical centre, so it isn't a job agency.

It seems there is only one other surgery in the area that uses 0844. The others use local numbers. Ultimately the answer might be to change doctor. After all, the practices are run as businesses these days, so if you aren't happy, take your custom elsewhere.
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« Last Edit: Dec 16th, 2008 at 2:40pm by jrawle »  
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