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Doctors surgeries 084 tel no's.

On 18 Oct 2011 at 11:25am Is it me? wrote:
Why are the River Lodge and Anchor Field doctor's surgeries still using the 084 prefix numbers when I understood that these were to be discontinued?
They are called lo-call numbers, but do in fact cost users more than the local call numbers as you are held on a switch link for approximately a minute before being put through to the surgery.
Also if the surgery line is engaged you wait longer and are still racking up a charge. Previously if the line was engaged you simply re dialed and were only charged for the call when you were connected.
The system is a frustrating experience which I suspect also contributes to raised blood pressure........job creation scheme perhaps?
On 18 Oct 2011 at 1:03pm Clifford wrote:
And I suppose the profits from keeping us hanging on are split between the telephone co and the surgery.
On 18 Oct 2011 at 4:32pm Decent Citizen wrote:
UMMMM! I called recently,went through the usual press this or that, and got hung up on!! TWICE! Lucky not an emergency! Fortunately I am near enough to call in to the surgery. For those who are not, you have my sympathy. Profit before patients me thinks, do you?
On 18 Oct 2011 at 4:46pm Mme B wrote:
Did you like the bit where the voice says "Your call IS important to us"?
On 18 Oct 2011 at 4:56pm Decent Citizen wrote:
GRRRR! Mme B.I think it is disgraceful ,do you?Old system was a pain but,at least you got there by redialling. As an aged person,the thought 0f profiteering from the aged, vulnerable and sick , appals me! Shame on whoever changed it from the usual number!
On 18 Oct 2011 at 6:05pm Mme B wrote:
Thank you, DC. I see it as Practices being encouraged to make a profit from their patients. This is hitting people at a bad time in their lives; many sick people have the sort of low income that makes them dread the telephone bill.
On 18 Oct 2011 at 7:35pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Yes I agree with that Mme B. What a lot of people do not realize, as a phone bill is often an incidental to many, is that, as you say, an added burden to some people. An utter disgrace in my opinion.
On 18 Oct 2011 at 11:02pm Moneysaver wrote:
Try SayNoTo0870.com - it's surprising how many numbers are now listed on there with 'normal' alternatives...
On 19 Oct 2011 at 7:56am SomeClarity wrote:
Just thought I'd help with this thread as there is a lot of misinformation.
1) Surgeries do profit from these numbers. This money isn't use to gold-plate the GPs stethoscopes, but rather offset the cost of other services. Oh, and there isn't much money in them.
2) Why use them? It allows for more features at a lower cost and expandability (including the dreaded 'press 1 for..' menus)
3) Switching to an non 08.. alternative would cost more in terms of staff time, and make booking an appointment harder. You would be competing against the folk that call asking 'when do you open?' and 'can I have a repeat prescription for paracetamol?'
4) The bunfight for appointments stems from the move to the only workable strategy to cope with 48 hour access targets put into place by Labour.
5) GP surgeries are businesses, run for profit by self-empoloyed independent contractors. It has been this way since BEFORE the NHS.
6) You are free to change your practice to one that uses a non 08... number if you feel sufficiently aggrieved. Or you could walk in. Or buy your paracetamol.
On 19 Oct 2011 at 9:44am FurtherClarity wrote:
My sister isn't quite right.
1)The 08...number systems create a profit for the phone system company who lease to the Drs surgery, allowing it to divert the expense of investing in a new phone system onto something more useful. Your money is paying for the phone company's profits, mainly. A bit like PFI.
2) and 3) The same systems are available to buy rather than lease from the phone company, but few surgeries have £5K sloshing about ready to spend, although it would be cheaper in the end than the cost of leasing.
4) There was always a bunfight, and always will be in social health care. Better systems weed out the unnecessary appointments.
5) Agreed, though pre-1948 medicine bears no comparison to today's work.
6) I think there's a political will to drive this through as it's a vote winner, and it will make the Health Minister look like he's on the patient's side.
But above all, let's not be diverted by the trivial issue of the cost of a phone call: this Government is hell-bent on ruining the NHS forever, and there will be no way back. Stop fretting about the cost of a phone call now and consider the cost of insurance-based health care in the future.
On 19 Oct 2011 at 11:36am Clifford wrote:
Calls to GP surgeries should be free. It's not as if people call them for entertainment.
On 19 Oct 2011 at 11:58am Realist wrote:
Is the NHS really that fantastic? Yes it appears to be 'free' at the point of use, but the tax revenue it gobbles up is at a quantum beyond belief, the basic care of the elderly is as bad as anywhere in the civilised world, cancer treatment lags most of Europe, and so on.
What the NHS really is (in it's current form) is a national institution. It's not a world-class healthcare institution. Nostalgia clouds rational minds at times...
On 19 Oct 2011 at 12:08pm giveitarest wrote:

'but the tax revenue it gobbles up is at a quantum beyond belief'

UK health spending, including private spending, puts us somewhere between 16th & 23rd worldwide in terms of per capita or GDP, and depending on exactly how it is calculated. On the basis of cost, a lot of NHS care outcomes are actually pretty good value.

Is that rational enough for you?
On 19 Oct 2011 at 4:51pm Realist wrote:
Try telling that to an OAP who doesn't have a son or daughter to look after them whilst the NHS doesn't bother!
On 20 Oct 2011 at 12:17am Brixtonbelle wrote:
Yes, the NHS is fantastic. I've had several ops in the last few years - non life threatening but pretty debilitating nontheless and in each case the care I have had have been excellent - from three different hospitals. If I hadn't had the ops I would now probably be unable to work and would be costing the country to support me instead of still paying taxes to help support others.

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