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Call To Scrap High-Charge Numbers For Barnsley GPs

Wednesday January 4 2012

MP John Healey MP John Healey

A BARNSLEY MP is campaigning for doctors to stop using 'rip-off' phone numbers which, he says, can cost patients 40p a minute to call their GP.

John Healey says nearly a third of practices in Barnsley are still using higher rate 0845 and 0844 numbers - which can cost up to 40p per minute if calling from a mobile and 12p per minute – plus a set up fee of up to 13p – if calling from a landline not provided by BT.

He said: “It is costing patients more to access what should be an open NHS service. Telecoms companies and some GPs are profiting at the expense of patients.

“When families are finding money is tight and everyone is trying to cut costs no one should be paying over the odds to get in touch with their doctor.”

John said that research from the government said that patients should not be charged more to call their doctor than to call a local rate. But although they were ordered to scrap them by April 2011, hundreds have not done so.

The MP wants evidence from locals to put in his report - please comment below if you know what you have paid.

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Reply Posted by Suehall55 on Wednesday January 4 2012 at 18:21
I complained to the barnsley primary care trust and they gave me permission to get the landline tel no that staff use. The staff were reluctant to provide it initially but when I showed them a copy of the email the pct had sent me, they had no choice. I suggest other people do this to avoid the ridiculous charges.

Reply Posted by Julie Firth on Wednesday January 4 2012 at 21:55
Good idea, but we shouldn't have to do that. Especially not fair to people on tight budgets ie elderly etc. Costs people a fortune just to contact to their GP  thought we paid National insurance so that medical care was free, well not only do we have to pay for medication, dental care and optical care we now have to pay premium rates just to call the GP.
I am registered with the Brierley medical center and we have to call a 0845 to get in touch with the medical practice.