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GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire) (Read 622,269 times)
allegro
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #660 - Sep 19th, 2015 at 7:49am
 
I would respectfully disagree with some of the points made by CJT-80. GP surgeries have had almost 5 years since the deadline for making the change to basic rate (01/02/03) numbers. That is ample time for any organisation or company. One of the problems is that there been no effective enforcement or penalty for the worst offenders.  We have had to rely largely on publicising the offenders. While this is worthwhile and useful it is clear, at least in retrospect, that some form of genuine penalty was needed.

Thankfully virtually all GPs have now complied. At least I hope they have. I wonder how many are still delinquent.
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Ian01
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #661 - Sep 19th, 2015 at 9:57am
 

GPs were banned from entering into new contracts with 084 numbers in April 2010, but many more continued to sign up for another three years. The last were in April 2013. The contract is usually five or seven years long.

The government recently stated that they will do little more than monitor those still using 084 numbers to ensure they do not renew those contracts as they come to an end over the next five years.
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2015-06-30.5038.h

Using details published on practice websites, the list of non-compliant GPs in England can be found here:
http://www.fairtelecoms.org.uk/uploads/1/1/4/5/11456053/nhs_england_gp_websites....
The danger is that other practices have removed the 084 number from their website, but it remains operational and it continues to be called by patients who have always rung that number.

There are a number of GP practices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still using 084 or 087 numbers as well as NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647 and various hospital or ambulance trusts and a number of NHS dentists. There are also a few 'specialist' NHS helplines, e.g. quit smoking, etc, still using various 084 and 087 numbers.

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« Last Edit: Sep 19th, 2015 at 5:44pm by Ian01 »  
 
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allegro
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #662 - Sep 20th, 2015 at 9:39am
 
Am I being cynical or is Ofcom utterly useless here. With the introduction of the access charge /service charge system plus legislation on allowble numbers for customer support it has made 084 and 087 numbers effectively unavailable for most purposes. It has also killed off their legitimate use for "dial through" services.

A good regulator that genuinely believed in the interests of the us, the poor general public, would have simply abolished all premium rates except for 09. So simple that they couldn't think of it. Or were too much in the pockets of vested interests to have the b*lls to do it.

Rant over for now.
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Ian01
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #663 - Sep 20th, 2015 at 10:41am
 

All over the internet are thousands of calls to 'ban all 084 and 087 numbers'. A five-pronged approach to the various issues, by DoH, BIS, CO, FCA and Ofcom has eventually led us almost to that situation.

GP practices and NHS bodies, post-sales helplines used by retailers, traders and passenger transport companies, helplines used by government departments, their agencies and 'other bodies across the public sector landscape' and phone lines used by financial services including banks and insurance companies must use numbers starting 01, 02, 03 or 080. Ofcom requires that all remaining usage of 084, 087 or 09 numbers (such as by chargeable services that are paid for as the call is being made, and by sales and enquiry lines used by companies that charge callers extra when they phone up to buy something) must be accompanied by a declaration of the applicable Service Charge.

It is now clear that all 084, 087 and 09 numbers are premium rate. The premium is the Service Charge paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. It is also clear that these numbers should be used only to provide a chargeable service paid for as the call is being made.

An attempt on an outright ban on all 084 and 087 numbers and immediate closure of these number ranges would have seen Ofcom in court and losing the case. Instead, this has had to be done in measured and well-reasoned steps. It has also had to involve other regulators. The eventual outcome will be much the same.



International dial-through providers exploited a feature of084, 087 and 09 call pricing that applied only to calls made from BT landlines (and from landline providers that copied BT's rates even though it made no financial sense to do so).

For more than a decade, an obscure Ofcom regulation called the 'NTS Retail Condition' required BT to make zero margin on call origination to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers. This meant that of whatever you paid BT for the call, almost all of it was passed on and paid to the benefit of the terminating telecoms provider. In the case of international dial-through providers, they used this revenue to pay the cost of forwarding the call to an international destination. Other landline and mobile provider's retail call prices were not restricted in this way, they were allowed to make margin on call origination. The same call made from another landline would cost at least several pence per minute more than calling from a BT landline and from mobiles would likely cost a lot more, typically 30p to 40p per minute.

The ending of this rule is what has led to BT increasing the call cost. BT can now make margin on originating these calls, but must declare their part of the call cost as their Access Charge - as must all landline and mobile providers. BT's Access Charge is 10.24p per minute. Other landline providers charge between 2p and 12p per minute. Mobile providers charge between 5p and 45p per minute.

Calling an international dial-through provider on an 084, 087 or 09 number from a BT landline is now as expensive as calling from some other landline. For a long time, most international dial-through providers have offered an alternative 020, 03 or 080 number for non-BT landline and all mobile users to call. BT customers now also need to use that option.

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« Last Edit: Sep 20th, 2015 at 7:29pm by Ian01 »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #664 - Sep 21st, 2015 at 9:33pm
 
allegro wrote on Sep 19th, 2015 at 7:49am:
I would respectfully disagree with some of the points made by CJT-80. GP surgeries have had almost 5 years since the deadline for making the change to basic rate (01/02/03) numbers. That is ample time for any organisation or company. One of the problems is that there been no effective enforcement or penalty for the worst offenders. We have had to rely largely on publicising the offenders. While this is worthwhile and useful it is clear, at least in retrospect, that some form of genuine penalty was needed.

Thankfully virtually all GPs have now complied. At least I hope they have. I wonder how many are still delinquent.


I actually agree with your points, I was trying to point out that not everything to do with these numbers and there use is black and white.  I do not wish to go into specifics but I have been in contact with my local surgery in regards to them dropping their 0844 number altogether.

If we lived in an ideal world such numbers wouldn't exist and we would all be able to make calls that are always inclusive.  Sadly and ultimately the telecoms industry has been allowed to run and rule itself and now were are faced with a range of expensive numbers, but we are told how much they cost to ring....

I am concerned this will go off topic, so I will stop there.
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Regards,

CJT-80

Any comments made are my own and are not those of SayNoTo0870.com
 
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Ian01
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Re: GPs all over England (not just in South Yorkshire)
Reply #665 - Jan 10th, 2016 at 4:22pm
 

The number of NHS GPs using 084 or 087 numbers continues to fall. The number of NHS Trusts using these numbers seems to be static. Whether the number of NHS dentists, NHS opticians and NHS pharmacies using these numbers is going up or down is unknown. A number of other NHS services also continue to use these numbers.

Of the remaining users, a small number have complied with the Ofcom regulations requiring declaration of the Service Charge and thereby draw attention to their ongoing non-compliance with their contracted terms as a provider of NHS services:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&filter=0&q=site:nhs.uk+%22per+minute%22+%22...

Others continue their usage of 084 and 087 numbers AND fail to declare the Service Charge. NHS Choices draws attention to the premium rate nature of these numbers AND to the failure of the user to properly declare the applicable Service Charge:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&filter=0&q=%22This+is+a+premium+rate+number...

There are some others who continue their usage of 084 or 087 numbers in parallel with other numbers, but only declare the cheaper number on NHS Choices. Some users of 084 or 087 numbers have removed all of their telephone contact details from NHS Choices. In both cases the non-compliant numbers may continue to be advertised elsewhere.

A small number have ceased their usage of 084 or 087 numbers but have failed to update NHS Choices to reflect that fact.

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« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2016 at 1:31pm by Ian01 »  
 
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AR1
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Re: GPs in South Yorkshire (and other areas)
Reply #666 - Jan 11th, 2016 at 11:00am
 
Barbara wrote on 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?


Surely, it would be very helpful initiative and it would act like a collective voice of all the affectees
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