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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 722,956 times)
loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #540 - Apr 26th, 2013 at 8:56am
 
Dave wrote on Apr 18th, 2013 at 11:00pm:
Chapelford Health & Wellbeing will change its phone number on Monday 22nd April. It has put together a two-page leaflet on the change.
[/edit]


Well, this practice has not changed its number yet and is still displaying 01925 574 165 on its website.   Perhaps they have changed their minds --- or did they have their minds changed for them?   Maybe this is very good news that a practice had a sudden last minute attack of conscience and decided not to proceed with ripping-off their patients?    If they did then it is an occasion for us campaigners to celebrate  Smiley

But don't be too hasty, we don't know if they really have changed their minds or have merely postponed the dastardly deed because the link to their appalling document which attempts to justify their move to 0844 is still live.   We really need to see an statement by the practice which announces their decision and explains why they changed their minds.   Then we may be able to see if this matter should be brought to the attention of all the other delinquent GP practices around the country and persuade them to act similarly.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #541 - Apr 26th, 2013 at 11:20am
 
loddon wrote on Apr 26th, 2013 at 8:56am:
Well, this practice has not changed its number yet and is still displaying 01925 574 165 on its website.   Perhaps they have changed their minds --- or did they have their minds changed for them?   Maybe this is very good news that a practice had a sudden last minute attack of conscience and decided not to proceed with ripping-off their patients?    If they did then it is an occasion for us campaigners to celebrate

The relevant news story, with comments from the practice, is now published. It features at the top of the fair telecoms campaign news feed



It is hoped that the story will be developed to cover the involvement of NHS England.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #542 - Apr 27th, 2013 at 5:49am
 
They had their minds changed for them.  NHS England told three practices that if they brought in an expensive 0844 number, they would be in breach of their contracts.

See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315541/Is-end-premium-rate-lines-GP-NHS...
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« Last Edit: Apr 27th, 2013 at 6:01am by bigjohn »  

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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #543 - Apr 27th, 2013 at 9:16am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Apr 26th, 2013 at 11:20am:
… It is hoped that the story will be developed to cover the involvement of NHS England.

Hopes have been fulfilled -

bigjohn wrote on Apr 27th, 2013 at 5:49am:
They had their minds changed for them.  NHS England told three practices that if they brought in an expensive 0844 number, they would be in breach of their contracts.

See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315541/Is-end-premium-rate-lines-GP-NHS...

I hope that readers of this public forum will understand why one has to wait until statements from involved parties have been provided to journalists and published before the full picture can be discussed.

Readers of the printed and early online editions of the Mail article may notice an error. As I type this, I can say that this is currently being corrected - I hope to shortly be able to revise this comment (so please do not quote this sentence, if replying). A copy of the erroneous version of the article has been retained for reference, but I hope that we will be able to focus only on the main point of the story.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #544 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 12:51am
 
The fair telecoms campaign news feed now contains a link to an item in today's Sunday Mirror about Daisy Surgery Line

Quote:
NHS patients calling their doctor are paying up to 41p per minute on high cost phone lines

Subscribers to the email update from that feed will be automatically notified of this new item at around 0800.


We urge fellow campaigners to subscribe to updates from our feed for news and use this discussion forum for exchanges of comments and views. All feed items are also "tweeted" on @DH_fairtelecoms, with significant items being re-tweeted on the main @fairtelecoms Twitter presence. We welcome followers of both.

(N.B. Unlike his site - no fair telecoms campaign activity is supported by advertising, neither is there any subscription payment. We do acknowledge the providers of free services we use.)
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #545 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 7:25am
 
The Mirror have published a superficially critical story on GPs using high cost phone lines (numbers) to fleece their patients here :--
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-patients-calling-doctor-paying-1857870

Some of the content is good and they seem to have done a certain amount of basic research for themselves instead of the lazy journalism that pervades most articles on this subject.  They took the trouble to test call 80 to see how long they had to wait to be answered and worked out the cost of these calls as an indication of the rip-off problem.

There are several strange aspects to this story however, firstly the reference to 0855 numbers.   This is a new one on me and the Mirror doesn't say which surgeries are using this number type.

Secondly the Mirror only allows comments to be made via facebook which prevents many of us from commenting or even reading others comments -- why do it that way?   Ludicrous discrimination.

They quote certain authorities without comment or apparent question as to the truth of those comments such as, "Health Department guidelines issued in 2010 said GP practices should phase out phone lines costing more than local rates. But many are locked in long-term contracts with thousands of surgeries still using the premium-rate lines."    Well are they really "locked-in"; are there not options which could be taken such as migrating to 03 numbers or cancelling their contracts ( maybe at a cost which could be mitigated or eliminated be certain actions)?

There is a hypocritical comment from Former Labour minister John Healey, "who successfully ­campaigned for GPs to drop these lines in his Yorkshire constituency", said: “No one should be forced to use these rip-off numbers. Guidelines created by Labour ruled out this practice. The Government needs to enforce the rules.”  John Healey seems to forget that his Labour Government did NOTHING to eliminate this scam.   Secretary of State Alan Johnson said that he would stop GPs using these numbers as quoted in his local paper in Hull but in the end he did NOTHING and proved himself to be useless, ineffective and hypocritical.   The Labour government presided over a whitewash of a "consultation" on the subject followed by a ridiculous report leading to the hopelessly incompetent Statute and amendments to the GPs NHS contract and "guidance" to other NHS organisations resulting in the shambles and chaos we still suffer from, with GPs and, source of all these problems "Daisy Surgery Line", continually making untrue statements like "NHS regulations permit their use (084 numbers)" when it has always been clear that the rules, when interpreted correctly and honestly, do nothing of the sort.   It is apparent that Daisy and Riley don't know the meaning of words like correct and honest.   And John Healey MP needs to learn how governments should make clear and unambiguous rules and how they should enforce them.

Overall this article is very much a "curates egg", only good in parts.


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« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2013 at 8:11am by loddon »  
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #546 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 7:55am
 
There is a most disappointing quote from NHS England in the Mirror article today "NHS England said it encouraged doctors to ensure numbers were in the “best interests of patients”. A spokesman said: “The Department of Health made it a requirement two years ago that GP practices should not enter into any new contracts for phone ­services that would mean patients paying more than the cost of a geographical call.

“This remains the case. However, we recognise that the GP cannot be ­expected to break existing contracts
.”


Compare that to the NHS England statements made to the Daily Mail in yesterdays article : "Following its ruling on three practices in Warrington, Cheshire, NHS England last night warned GPs that no surgery should be using 0844 numbers, and revealed it was checking how widely they are used.

A spokesman for the organisation confirmed it would ‘act on’ the findings when the work has been completed."



Absolutely, we the public want our highly paid officials in positions of authority to do their jobs and "take action".

We shall judge the competence and capability of NHS England by how effectively they take action and how swiftly they do it.   They have made an excellent start by ordering those practices in Warrington to stop their move to 0844.   We hope to see that followed up in the next few weeks with similarly strong action over the thousand or so delinquent GP practices in the rest of the country.
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« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2013 at 8:04am by loddon »  
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #547 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 11:01am
 
The fair telecoms campaign news feed now reflects another newspaper item which has appeared online for publication in tomorrow's paper.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #548 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 2:47pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Apr 28th, 2013 at 11:01am:
The fair telecoms campaign news feed now reflects another newspaper item which has appeared online for publication in tomorrow's paper.

The article in question makes further use of the Sunday Mirror "probe".

It carries the same incorrect cost of calls. The BT Call Set-up fee is now 15 pence including VAT, for Calling Plans "taken" on or after 19th April 2013 and 13.87 pence for those before. On a 28 minute, 50 second call, this is £1.63 or £1.62 respectively. The claim is made that the call would cost £1.43.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #549 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 6:40pm
 
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/patient_fumes_over_welwyn_garden_city_surgery_s_co...

Patient fumes over Welwyn Garden City surgery’s ‘costly’ phone system

<<
An elderly patient has hit out after being forced to use a cash generating phone number to book a doctor’s appointment.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, says she is now £4 out of pocket due to the 0844 number used by The Garden City Practice, in WGC.

She said: “I don’t think it is right for us to pay this money, £4 is a lot of money for pensioners.”

The Garden City Practice has three branches in the town and a partner for the practice has acknowledged the problem with the line.

Dr Peter Shilliday said: “We are aware of the problem. It is not just us, there are other surgeries, it is a bit of a national issue. We are looking into it.

“We are stuck in the contract and I am aware we will not be renewing it.”

A spokesman for commissioners NHS England said: “NHS England supports and upholds previous guidance from the Department of Health, which states that GPs should always commission services that represent the best value for money for their patients.

“If a call to a geographical area code number is cheaper for patients, then GPs are strongly advised that this should be the preferred option.”
>>
Welwyn Hatfield Times
By Ewan Foskett, Saturday, April 27, 2013
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #550 - Apr 28th, 2013 at 8:55pm
 
loddon wrote on Apr 28th, 2013 at 7:25am:
firstly the reference to 0855 numbers.   This is a new one on me and the Mirror doesn't say which surgeries are using this number type.


I would imagine that should read 0845 not 0855. Wink
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #551 - Apr 29th, 2013 at 6:14am
 
bigjohn wrote on Apr 28th, 2013 at 8:55pm:
I would imagine that should read 0845 not 0855. Wink


Of course; it was just my little joke  Smiley Wink
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #552 - Apr 29th, 2013 at 6:38am
 
Dave wrote on Apr 28th, 2013 at 2:47pm:
The article in question makes further use of the Sunday Mirror "probe".

This piece in the Mail-on-Sunday does indeed make use of (plagiarise?) the story in the Sunday mirror.   While it is good to see the story carried wider and longer one must wonder about the intelligence of the reporters and sub-editors who decided to write it and to pick out the glaringly obvious mistake in the Mirror and incorporate it into their own headline!  Undecided Embarrassed   Surgeries using 0855 numbers!!!!!  Shocked   Or was it a deliberate swipe at the Mirror?   I think not as it would be lost on most readers.

The Mail have subtly changed the emphasis towards Matthew Riley of Daisy plc and draw attention to his evil role.   This is picked up by at least one reader in the comments:--- 
"This is an absolute disgrace and I find it hard to believe that any GP doesn't know the phone number to his/her own surgery. Matthew Riley should be forced to refund anyone conned out of his £80b fortune.
- when did, that happen?!, 28/4/2013 14:04


Another comment alludes to the wider scandal of 0844/5 numbers :---
"0845 and 0844 should be outlawed across every business. Why do you have to pay to ring your insurance company, your broadband/network provider, your electricity/gas/water provider when you are already paying for a service? ..... Its disgusting how we are treated by services we already pay for!
- whyohwhy, Horley, United Kingdom, 28/4/2013 13:20
"

Ofcom should take note.   The Ofcom proposal to allow the evil of "revenue sharing premium 084/7 numbers" to continue in the guise of access and revenue charges is not going to deal with the fundamental problem.   Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2013 at 7:50am by loddon »  
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #553 - Apr 29th, 2013 at 8:45am
 
loddon wrote on Apr 29th, 2013 at 6:38am:
Another comment alludes to the wider scandal of 0844/5 numbers :---
"0845 and 0844 should be outlawed across every business. Why do you have to pay to ring your insurance company, your broadband/network provider, your electricity/gas/water provider when you are already paying for a service? ..... Its disgusting how we are treated by services we already pay for!
- whyohwhy, Horley, United Kingdom, 28/4/2013 13:20
"

Ofcom should take note. …

The practice of double-charging, unless by communications providers, falls outside Ofcom's remit. The specific issue raised by 'whyohwhy' is being addressed by BIS through implementation of the provisions of the Consumer Rights Directive. (It is however probably worth considering the possibility that someone who submits comments to the Mail Online under this nickname will, by virtue of their chosen identity, never be satisfied by any answer to the questions which they pose.)


loddon wrote on Apr 29th, 2013 at 6:38am:
… The Ofcom proposal to allow the evil of "revenue sharing premium 084/7 numbers" to continue in the guise of access and revenue charges is not going to deal with the fundamental problem.

If "the fundamental problem" is the fact that the telephone bill can be used as a way of collecting money to be passed on to a third party (the person called), then Ofcom is doing nothing to stop it. Indeed, Ofcom seeks to allow this to work more effectively. Its provisions cover all the relevant ranges: 084, 087, 09 and 118. All of being treated in the same manner, notwithstanding additional regulation that already applies to the latter three.


Many of us see the "evil" as lying in the fact that the "Service Charge" is not visible to those who pay it, nor, according to Daisy, to those who benefit from it. When the value passed on to the benefit of the third party is openly declared, along with the charge retained by the caller's telephone service provider, one "fundamental problem" will have been addressed.



I understand that the article dated Sunday 28 April at 10:48 may have only appeared on MailOnline. If anyone can confirm that it appeared in either the Mail on Sunday or today's Daily Mail - please let me know.
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #554 - Apr 30th, 2013 at 8:57am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Apr 29th, 2013 at 8:45am:
[quote author=loddon link=1303253575/552#552 date=1367213886]
If "the fundamental problem" is the fact that the telephone bill can be used as a way of collecting money to be passed on to a third party (the person called), ....

I agree that revenue sharing is a problem and should never have been allowed on 084 and 087 numbers however the fundamental problem is the premium that is charged to callers of these numbers as I have said repeatedly in postings here and responses to earlier Ofcom consultations.   The telecoms industry, and Ofcom, argue that 084/7 numbers offer all sorts of claimed facilities and benefits to the users of these numbers.   I say fine, then those users should be the ones to pay for them not the callers.   The premium is usually very much larger than the revenue share and is in my view the main problem.

We seem to be straying very far off topic with this discussion so I suggest that we discontinue this line here and move over to the "Ofcom Consultation" thread.http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1366033132/2#2
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