NHS ignores phone costs

PHS Japan 1997-2003 (Willcom, NTT DoCoMo, ASTEL)
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After the fiasco when thousands signed a petition on No. 10’s website protesting about NHS using 0870 numbers (they had to climb down and promise to change, but so far no signs) , it seems arrogant NHS Executives still haven’t learn their lesson.

The newest NHS dept – dealing with an investigation into Generic drugs – has opened an office.  In fact, as is their wont, it has several offices to spread the jobs around the UK.  And each one of  these offices only has a mobile phone number for us to contact.

We are being asked what we think about the possibility of taking generic drugs;  there is evidence to suggest that possibly these possibly could produce some of the nasty side effects we encounter – but if we phone to give our side of things it is going to cost us several pounds to get this over.

In case you have indulgent parents, or a boss who doesn’t query phone bills, the cost of calling a mobile phone might shock you.  My wonderful IT guru Alun comes up with  following costings:

There’s a 9.2p connection charge, so a 1 minute (or 1 second!) call on average mobile  will cost 12.5p + 9.2p = 21.7p.

2 minutes will be 2 x 12.5p + 9.2p connection charge = 34.2pence.

So if you are a patient calling in, and paying your own phone bills, an average ten minute call is costing you quite a hefty slice of your disability allowance – or beer money.

However, if the NHS lived in the real world, and used BT Option 3 or similar packages provided by other telephone land line companies, the same call to an 01, 02, 03, 0845 or 0870 on option 3 is FREE –  so long as the call lasts less than one hour.

And this office say that executivers are going to work from home.  Well, I always thought it was a simple process to re-route incoming calls – it just needs a little bit of nous.

Alun’s comments:  “Are they really running mobile numbers – beginning “07?  Wow!”

And we thought that GPs offering 0870 numbers were a rip off!!!


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