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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 722,972 times)
NGMsGhost
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #570 - Jun 1st, 2013 at 8:35am
 
idb,

Thanks for the useful info.

So clearly NHS England needs to impose a £250,000 penalty on each of these "bad boy" practices if they continue to use 0844 numbers after a specific and clearly given deadline.

The practices will then have no doubt about the fact that switching to 03 numbers will be the more pofitable choice for them to make.

The disgusting greed of some GPs who clearly only care about their next where their next Mercedes and BMW and holiday in the Caribbean is coming from and not about the welfare of their patients is utterly contemptable. Shocked Angry Angry Angry
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« Last Edit: Jun 1st, 2013 at 8:36am by NGMsGhost »  

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Keith
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #571 - Jun 1st, 2013 at 2:02pm
 
I'm just gobbed smacked by the attitude of the GPs (and I'm married to a Doctor) claiming it is not their fault or they were mislead. GPs are businesses. That was their choice. They did not want to become NHS employees. Businesses make choices and have to take the consequences of those choices. If they were mislead then they have the opportunity to go back to their supplier. If not they take the consequences of their actions and it was up to them to do the research in the first place and that research wasn't exactly rocket science. I suspect the £ signs overrode caution.

I run my own business and I have to take the consequences of my bad decisions, so should GPs.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #572 - Jun 1st, 2013 at 8:33pm
 
Keith wrote on Jun 1st, 2013 at 2:02pm:
GPs are businesses. That was their choice. They did not want to become NHS employees. Businesses make choices and have to take the consequences of those choices. If they were mislead then they have the opportunity to go back to their supplier.


The GPs still have an easy way out without incurring any undue penalty costs; see this comment under the article :---


"George Kendrick   1 day ago
Fully endorse the comments by "Ian G" and "David".
To put it simply and not beat around the bush the claim of a £60,000 inevitable penalty is untrue.

The simple remedy available to these GPs wrongly using 0844 numbers is to convert to an 0344 number. No penalty is incurred, it can be done without delay, they can retain their existing system without severing the contract. All that will happen is that the subsidy from the calls will cease, and the good news is they will no longer be ripping off their patients. Everyone will be happy."

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #573 - Jun 1st, 2013 at 9:00pm
 
It is too soon to get excited, but it may not be long before the obvious solution of number migration, as opposed to early contract termination, is finally recognised for what it is.

Given that so many parties have screwed up over this, if everyone acceptable responsibility for their faults and "did the honourable thing", there would be nobody left to implement a solution to keep GP primary care services running and funded only properly.

As for the suggestion of financial penalties on practices, I personally doubt that the amount which partners draw out of their practices in salary is as closely related to the amount of funding provided as may be commonly believed. I suspect that they look after themselves appropriately regardless of the level of funding and the expenses and possible penalties incurred.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #574 - Jun 3rd, 2013 at 1:41pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 1st, 2013 at 9:00pm:
As for the suggestion of financial penalties on practices, I personally doubt that the amount which partners draw out of their practices in salary is as closely related to the amount of funding provided as may be commonly believed. I suspect that they look after themselves appropriately regardless of the level of funding and the expenses and possible penalties incurred.


So you seem to suggest that GPs work rather like bankers then SCV.

That is that if they have managed things badly in their business they look to screw their customers to restore the standard of living they were previously used to.  The bankers do it with derisory interest for deposits and sky high interest rates for most forms of borrowing other than mortgages.

But how will GPs transfer this financial hit elsewhere exactly?  By only running the heating in their surgeries at 15C in the winter, not repainting the marked walls and making patients lie on their backs on ripped couches to be prodded and poked?

I would have thought that in business based on fixed capitation fees and some fees for programs for inoculations etc their options are limited and that if they got a hit in terms of a large fine for their malfeasance towards patience on telecoms that the net profitability of the business which funds their incomes would be the main casualty.

Also if the effect of cancelling their disgusting 084/7 contracts is as small as you suggest and has almost no impact on their vast six figure salaries (for doing a job with no business risk and with no anti social hours as these have all been outsourced) then why haven't they already taken the hit and made the change?

Really it seems thoroughly naive of you to suggest that the whole impact of the loss of this revenue is trivial as if that were true why would NEG have tried so hard to flog phone systems paid for at the expense of patients and not out of doctors budgets in the first place and why would doctors be fighting so hard to reverse their mistake.

What this whole episode though is another longstanding area of cultural mispractice which many parts of the NHS GP medical service have yet to reverse.  And that area is one of an attitude of smug contempt for patients and their rights where all too frequently arrogant GPs ignore the problems patients come to see them with and all too often suggest that health problems are a patient's own fault due to the eating or lifestyle choices that they have made.

If GP's did not rely on cosy little catchment areas with little competition and had to fight for customers by treating them the best with the best attitude and the best quality buildings and facilities (not those vile little council house rabbit huts that the NHS generally knocks up for them) then we might not be in this whole mess in relation to 084/7 numbers to begin with.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #575 - Jun 3rd, 2013 at 3:14pm
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 1:41pm:
   
"..... and why would doctors be fighting so hard to reverse their mistake."


Do you mean " ...  fighting hard NOT to reverse their mistake"?
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #576 - Jun 5th, 2013 at 12:50pm
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 1:41pm:
If GP's did not rely on cosy little catchment areas with little competition and had to fight for customers by treating them the best with the best attitude and the best quality buildings and facilities (not those vile little council house rabbit huts that the NHS generally knocks up for them) then we might not be in this whole mess in relation to 084/7 numbers to begin with.

Whilst the proper purpose of this forum is to promote free discussion, without any obligation to confront the reality of achieving change in the world as it is, we are now surely going much too far.

As I understand it, the present NHS GP contracts make no provision for financial penalties on account of breaches, as total compliance with the standard terms is expected. The very concept of putting a price on compliance, so that a practice may choose which regulations it wishes to follow, is surely unacceptable.

That was a little far-fetched for one who campaigns for achievable change, however I now find myself being implicitly invited to address the quoted comment. I see little prospect of the NHS being abolished and a market being created in which supply of primary healthcare will significantly exceed demand.


I will continue to work to get NHS GPs off 084 numbers in the world as it is today. It is for members of this forum to decide how far they wish their discussion to roam from current realities.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #577 - Jun 5th, 2013 at 4:23pm
 
Surely the nature of all contracts is that you are expected to comply with the terms agreed and if you don't then you can expect to pay a cost for not doing so. I don't see why GPs should be exempt. What is the point of a contract if you can ignore the terms without consequence.

You also don't need a provision for a financial penalty. Most contracts do not spell out the penalty of failure. It is normally calculated as the loss incurred as a consequence. Obviously that is hard in the case of the 0844 issue, in particular identifying those that have lost, but a ball park amount would  not be impossible to identify.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #578 - Jun 5th, 2013 at 4:53pm
 
Keith wrote on Jun 5th, 2013 at 4:23pm:
Surely the nature of all contracts is that you are expected to comply with the terms agreed and if you don't then you can expect to pay a cost for not doing so. I don't see why GPs should be exempt. What is the point of a contract if you can ignore the terms without consequence.

You also don't need a provision for a financial penalty. Most contracts do not spell out the penalty of failure. It is normally calculated as the loss incurred as a consequence. Obviously that is hard in the case of the 0844 issue, in particular identifying those that have lost, but a ball park amount would  not be impossible to identify.

I am not sure that exploring the legal complexities of this matter is actually helpful, however …

The loss is not suffered by the party to the contract, NHS England, but by the callers to the practice. The losses incurred are not to the direct financial benefit of the practice, but are consequential losses to the benefit of the caller's telephone service provider or slightly more direct losses to the benefit of the principal providing telephone service to the practice and also their agent. Further monies are assigned to the payment of a lease agreement entered into by the practice through the system provider.

This may be an interesting intellectual discussion, but I am far more concerned about bringing this matter to an end, already far later than it should have been resolved, than putting more NHS money into the hands of lawyers and introducing further delay.

GPs are expected to comply fully with the terms of their contract - there is no half-way house. An outright refusal to comply can have only one consequence - removal of the contract.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #579 - Jun 6th, 2013 at 11:27am
 
I agree it is an academic point SCV but you did make points that weren't quite correct  Grin

Agreed that the losses are not made by a party to the contract and so can't bring an action under the contract (and if it were so we could have ended this years ago), unless you treat NHS England as representing the population (and now you are into areas of the law beyond my knowledge).

The losses incurred don't have to equate to the financial benefit to the practice. If I pay someone £1000 to do something for me and it costs £2000 to put right their failure I can sue for £2000.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #580 - Jun 6th, 2013 at 11:53am
 
Keith wrote on Jun 6th, 2013 at 11:27am:
I agree it is an academic point SCV but you did make points that weren't quite correct  Grin

As we are both delving into issue of law of which we have no deep understanding, you are right to seek to keep these exchanges, and accusations of error, good-natured.

Given that the funding provided to practices by NHS England is to be used at the discretion of the practice, I was thinking that a court would probably rule that the amount recoverable in the event of a breach of contract would be limited to that which was "improperly acquired", given that NHS England could not show any actual financial loss incurred by itself.

This is however just chit-chat. The NHS relies heavily on the goodwill of GPs and their willingness to provide primary care services under its rules. We may be unhappy at this, but it is a reality that we have to accept. Achieving a resolution of this issue in the real world requires a refined approach.

Formal "legal opinion" ruling that a practice is not necessarily in breach of its contract by continuing to use a 084 number past 1 April 2011 has already been obtained. I personally believe that this is flawed, as indeed it is only an "opinion", but I do not want this issue to become a goldmine for lawyers.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #581 - Jun 6th, 2013 at 2:30pm
 
Lightwater Surgery, Surrey has now put a geo number on their web site (in addition to the 0844 number). I can't find any reference/publicity to this change.

I can't find any info on how it is going to operate. That is will it be a genuine means of access or will it be a phone that is not answered or calls are put behind the 0844 queue and therefore will always be engaged when people are using the 0844 number.

I guess this will be quickly tested.

If equal access is given with the 0844 number then a positive (if very belated) result.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #582 - Jun 6th, 2013 at 4:15pm
 
Keith wrote on Jun 6th, 2013 at 2:30pm:
I can't find any info on how it is going to operate. That is will it be a genuine means of access or will it be a phone that is not answered or calls are put behind the 0844 queue and therefore will always be engaged when people are using the 0844 number.

I guess this will be quickly tested.

If equal access is given with the 0844 number then a positive (if very belated) result.


Yes, easily tested.  Having called the 01276 number I was put through to reception fairly quickly and they told me this number has been made available during the past 2 days and will have equal access to that of the other two numbers.   This is in readiness for a new automatic answering system which is soon to be used and all three number types will continue in operation.

Incidentally the other two numbers are 0844 and 0870 and the fax is 0844.    I seem to remember that 0870 was banned in 2005 --- ah well.  Roll Eyes
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #583 - Jun 6th, 2013 at 4:32pm
 
Keith wrote on Jun 6th, 2013 at 2:30pm:
Lightwater Surgery, Surrey has now put a geo number on their web site (in addition to the 0844 number). I can't find any reference/publicity to this change.

I can't find any info on how it is going to operate. That is will it be a genuine means of access or will it be a phone that is not answered or calls are put behind the 0844 queue and therefore will always be engaged when people are using the 0844 number.

I guess this will be quickly tested.

If equal access is given with the 0844 number then a positive (if very belated) result.

I disagree that this is a result, unless there is a process in place to ensure that no one who pays more to call the 0844 number doesn't call it — as required by the contract. I can't think how the practice might pull that one off, in practice.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #584 - Jun 7th, 2013 at 9:14am
 
Point taken Dave. Just grateful for small successes. In fact of course many may well be unaware and just carry on using the 0844 number.

I tested it this morning and it seems to go through to the same queue as the 0844 number (obviously I can't be 100% sure). If so it does mean that people using the Geo No are getting equal treatment.

One might ask then why not remove the 0844 number altogether?
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