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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 713,348 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #585 - Jun 7th, 2013 at 10:28am
 
Keith wrote on Jun 7th, 2013 at 9:14am:
… small successes


I cannot regard anything that enables, possibly false, partial justification for a continuing breach of the terms of the GP NHS contract as a success - quite the reverse.

Keith wrote on Jun 7th, 2013 at 9:14am:
… it seems to go through to the same queue as the 0844 number (obviously I can't be 100% sure)

If this is true then the practice has made a significant investment, at least that which it would have had to make if switching from the 0844 number altogether. Furthermore, it would have taken a different approach to that recommended by its system provider, which is for a single geographic line (provided free of charge) to operate alongside the 0844 service.
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #586 - Jun 16th, 2013 at 11:38am
 
A momentous development in the battle against GPs using 0844 numbers has been announced this morning.

The Fair Telecoms campaign says it has secured an assurance from Daisy Group that users of its Surgery Line system may switch from 0844 to 03 or 01/02 intelligent numbers on request.   FT says it is working to support NHS England as it prepares to take action against GPs who continue to use 084 numbers in breach of their contracts.

http://www.fairtelecoms.org.uk/uploads/1/1/4/5/11456053/migrate.pdf

FT, who we all know is run by Dave and SCV, regular contributors to this Forum, have quoted these statements secured directly from Daisy :---

Surgery Line customers are NOT forced to continue using 0844 numbers until their long-term contracts end - it is open to them to move to a geographic number on request. Such customers can switch, free of charge, to numbers charged at the geographic rate.”
And :---
We are referring to the 030 and 01/02 numbers. We were not referring to the option of a concurrent local rate line to run alongside an 084 number.”

FT also quote this statement from NHS England :---
We are linking with the fair telecoms campaign to help develop a range of strategies that can be employed by GP practices to enable them to migrate from 084 numbers to alternative arrangements, that don’t lose some of the added functionality that some patients value, but which cost no more than dialling a geographically identified number.”

It is staggering to consider how difficult all our campaigning has been over the last 7 years or more and now suddenly we seem to have a major breakthrough.    I suspect that this has quite a lot to do with the attitude of NHS England in starting its management role.   They seem to have a refreshing attitude to rip-of issues and their prompt action in stopping GPs in Warrington from moving over to 0844 last month must have had an impact on the attitude of Daisy Group (formerly NEG).    These statements from Daisy are certainly a radical change to the intransigent position which NEG have taken in the past.

I hope readers will not think that I am promoting the FT campaign by drawing attention to their news release.   I disagree strongly with the FT stance regarding Ofcom's proposals for “simplifying” non-geo numbers but that doesn't prevent me from giving credit where credit is due and I have to say to the FT campaign very well done!

It is remarkable to see an official government body with responsibility for a great part of our government expenditure announce that it is “linking with the fair telecoms campaign to help develop a range of strategies”.
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« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2013 at 11:42am by loddon »  
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bbb_uk
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #587 - Jun 16th, 2013 at 4:05pm
 
I too would like to thank the Fair Telecoms campain for all their hardwork - this is by no means been an easy feat.

Thanks also to other forum members and even non-forum members who may have helped.

But the biggest thanks goes to Dave and SilentCallsVictim.
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« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2013 at 4:10pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #588 - Jun 17th, 2013 at 8:47am
 
More anger at GPs 0844 numbers being reported :---

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/lifestyle/health/anger-gps-over-premium-rate-432...


"
Anger at GPs over premium rate lines

   16 Jun 2013 13:37      

Doctors accused of 'taxing' patients by using 084 numbers

Doctors in the West Midlands have been lambasted by a campaign group for forcing sick patients to use expensive phone numbers to call them.

Practices in Birmingham and the Black Country are near the top of a list of shame published by the Fair Telecoms Campaign, for ‘taxing’ needy residents through premium-rate 084 numbers
."

Daisy Group are reported to have agreed to stop marketing 0844 numbers to NHS organisations and said it had responded to a public outcry.

This is excellent news and other papers are reporting similarly.    If Daisy have "agreed" to stop marketing it would be useful if the Birmingham Mail had reported who Daisy have agreed with?    My guess is NHS England, but it would be nice to know.

It has taken Daisy/NEG many years to respond but at least they now seem to be getting the message.  Smiley
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #589 - Jun 17th, 2013 at 10:34am
 
(With reference to recent comments.)

Whilst some may not agree with all aspects of the tactical position taken in public statements using the name "the fair telecoms campaign", the aim is to represent the objectives of the very many people who are actively seeking the elimination of inequities in the world of telecoms. Any credit assigned to "the fair telecoms campaign" must therefore apply to all those involved, regardless of the amount of effort that they are able to contribute and the role they are able to take.

People are free to disassociate themselves from "the fair telecoms campaign" if they wish. When we comment using that name, we do not in any way exclude those who may disagree with some of the tactical positions taken for the sake of furthering shared objectives, or those who may only be able to make a relatively modest contribution to campaigning.

Media coverage and public statements are valuable in advancing the cause, however it is only when real changes are made in practice that anything is actually achieved. We are pleased to acknowledge thanks and congratulations, however there is much more that needs to happen and more work is required both at the general level and with every specific case. We hope that others will join us in doing all we can to press forward.

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Keith
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #590 - Jun 17th, 2013 at 1:45pm
 
Bearing in mind the ticking off I got for what I said was good news re Lightwater Surgery I'm taking note of my failings  Wink

We must keep on our toes regarding the recent very good news. I can now see the ploy coming into play where the 0844 numbers are kept on board for a 'transition' period until the public get used to the new numbers, or to put it another way while the public continue to get ripped off by the lack of publicity for new numbers and continue to use the 0844 numbers they know.

I look forward to a swift transition  Shocked
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #591 - Aug 15th, 2013 at 3:02am
 
Redbridge GP surgeries still using ‘extortionate’ premium rate numbers despite government ban

http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/news/redbridge_gp_surgeries_still_using_ext...

Lizzie Dearden, Reporter Wednesday, August 14, 2013

<<
Several Redbridge GP surgeries are still using “extortionate” premium rate phone numbers despite a government ban.

Calls to The Evergreen Surgery, in High Street, Wanstead, cost at least 4p a minute but many callers pay considerably more from mobiles or providers other than BT.

The regional number listed on many websites is out of service and directs callers to re-dial the premium rate 0844 line.

One woman said her 92-year-old mother was paying £5 for regular calls and became distressed about her rocketing phone bill.

Sue Taylor, of Loughton, said: “Elderly people call doctors all the time so how much money are they taking from pensioners like my mum who are on a basic rate pension?

“I think it’s extortion – vulnerable people may not be able to afford it and it’s going to stop them calling.”

In December 2009 the government ordered GPs to stop using premium rate numbers and NHS England is now auditing how “reliant” surgeries are on revenue from calls.

A spokesman said: “GP practices should not renew or enter into any new contracts for telephone services that charge patients more than the cost of a geographical call.”

When the Recorder phoned The Evergreen Surgery, we were on hold for five minutes before reaching a receptionist.

The surgery declined to comment.

Chadwell Heath Surgery, in Chadwell Heath Lane, Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes Medical Practice, in Green Lane, Goodmayes, and the Chigwell Medical Centre, in Fencepiece Road, Chigwell, also use 0844 numbers but list an “alternative” geographical line.

The Doctor’s House surgery in Cameron Road, Seven Kings, lists only an 0208 number on its own website but the premium rate number that shows in search engine results is still in operation.

The Willows Medical Practice, in Manford Way, Hainault, uses a premium rate line that does not carry a warning of charges.

David Hickson works with the Fair Telecoms Campaign is working to stop surgeries charging patients for 0844 calls.

He said: “It is the principle of the NHS to not allow GPs to fund their surgeries through charges on patients.

“They can transfer the same service on to geographical numbers so there is no excuse not to.”
>>





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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #592 - Aug 17th, 2013 at 10:04pm
 
Bexley GP practices challenged over use of 0844 numbers

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/10617648.Bexley_GP_practices_challenged_over_u...

By Rebecca Compton

<<
GP PRACTICES in Bexley are being challenged over use of 0844 numbers for patients booking appointments.

Council leader Councillor Teresa O’Neill, chairman of Bexley's health and wellbeing board, has written to ask five practices asking them not to promote the use of 0844 numbers which lead to patients incurring unnecessary costs.

These are Lakeside in Thamesmead, Cairngall in Belvedere, Good Health in Barnehurst, Parkside in Bexleyheath and Plas Meddyg in Bexley.

Cllr O'Neill said: "I hope the local practices will stop promoting these numbers now without the need for NHS England to take action against them."

"Many people operate on tight budgets and the board are very unhappy they could find themselves paying unnecessarily for a basic service that should be free."

But Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce said: "0844 numbers have a place as they offer a cheaper service to the practice and are inexpensive for people calling from a landline.

"I have worked with GPs to make sure they offer and advertise an alternate landline number for those with mobiles.

"Lakeside and Cairngall offer their patients the best of both worlds with 0844 and a landline."

NHS England has pledged to take action against GP practices charging more for 0844 calls than the cost of telephoning a local number.
>>
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #593 - Aug 19th, 2013 at 5:49am
 
It is easy to see whose side Theresa Pearce MP is on, obviously the GP's not the Patients. Shouldn't someone point out to her that she is using Daisy's old online garbage that even they are not presenting as their usual loophole to gain compliance. Would she use the Two-tier NHS geo. number and be happy to keep re-dialing, I think not !!!!
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loddon
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #594 - Sep 9th, 2013 at 7:59am
 
idb wrote on May 3rd, 2013 at 1:54am:
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/practice-income/nhs-en...

NHS England to crack down on GP use of 0844 phone numbers
1 May 2013 | By Madlen Davies

<<
NHS England has announced it will crack down on GPs use of premium phone numbers, and has asked local area teams to identify practices still using them.



Well, what are NHS England doing??????

No news and no action from NHS England over all these months !!  Sad     After a promising start in April and all this promise to take action we have seen nothing!!    About time NHS England show some results.   Are they going to turn out to be as ineffective and incompetent as their predecessors ??
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #595 - Sep 21st, 2013 at 1:39pm
 
RESULT!

Additional New Telephone Number for Holbrook Surgery, Horsham, West Sussex

After patient feedback about our telephone number we have contacted our phone supplier who has provided us with an alternative 01403 number for patients to call. As this number does not have enhanced services you may experience the engaged tone at busy times, at which time you can try calling our existing telephone number 0844 815 1072.

Our new additional number is: 01403 339818

Smiley
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« Last Edit: Sep 21st, 2013 at 1:41pm by sherbert »  
 
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Ian G
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #596 - Sep 21st, 2013 at 2:27pm
 
This is NOT a "result". This is still a breach of contract.

To comply with the GMS Contract the number must be CHANGED to 01, 02, 030, 033 or 0344 and the 0844 number completely switched OFF.

With an "alternative" number now available, but without "enhanced services" they have implemented a "two-tier" system where those who pay a premium for calling the 0844 number, receive a better service.

These is NO place for this within the NHS.

The GMS Contract is clear that the practice must ENSURE that patients do not pay more than the equivalent of calling an 01 or 02 number. With the 0844 number still running, those who accidentally call the 0844 number or who don't know about the new 01 number are still "paying more".


Many of the practices adopting the "two-tier" system put out literature explaining the change and have a note that says that 0844 calls are 5p/min and 01 calls are 9p/min and fail to mention that many callers have inclusive calls to 01 numbers but not to 0844 numbers.

I contend that after an "alternative" number is introduced, the vast majority of calls continue to go to the 0844 number. This is why the 0844 number must be completely taken out of service.

According to the GMS Contract only an 01, 02 or 03 number is acceptable.
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« Last Edit: Sep 21st, 2013 at 2:56pm by Ian G »  
 
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sherbert
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #597 - Sep 21st, 2013 at 2:54pm
 
Well, it is a result for me and the missus, as over the last eighteen months we sadly, due to medical problems ,have had to be in touch with this surgery several times and now we can get in touch with them on a geographical number without it costing us.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #598 - Sep 21st, 2013 at 4:18pm
 
sherbert wrote on Sep 21st, 2013 at 2:54pm:
Well, it is a result for me and the missus, as over the last eighteen months we sadly, due to medical problems ,have had to be in touch with this surgery several times and now we can get in touch with them on a geographical number without it costing us.

sherbert, I think you make a very valid point. Whilst the campaign is about points of principle — which are for the good of everyone — we are individuals and, particularly where one has incurred high charges in pursuit of healthcare, there is likely to be relief that it won't happen again.

I must echo Ian G's sentiments that this isn't a result for the campaign and that it must carry on to victory.
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #599 - Sep 21st, 2013 at 4:25pm
 
Dave wrote on Sep 21st, 2013 at 4:18pm:
sherbert wrote on Sep 21st, 2013 at 2:54pm:
Well, it is a result for me and the missus, as over the last eighteen months we sadly, due to medical problems ,have had to be in touch with this surgery several times and now we can get in touch with them on a geographical number without it costing us.

sherbert, I think you make a very valid point. Whilst the campaign is about points of principle — which are for the good of everyone — we are individuals and, particularly where one has incurred high charges in pursuit of healthcare, there is likely to be relief that it won't happen again.

I must echo Ian G's sentiments that this isn't a result for the campaign and that it must carry on to victory.


Thanks Dave. Wink
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