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Home Industry News NHS 084 phone numbers ‘could be banned’

NHS 084 phone numbers ‘could be banned’

17th December 2008

A public consultation has set out proposals to stop the NHS from using more expensive telephone numbers, it has been revealed.

According to the Department of Health (DoH), some people across the UK end up paying more than local-call costs when they ring an NHS service or their GP, with some organisations using pricier 084 numbers.

The government has therefore set out a number of plans in its consultation and hopes to provide the current valued NHS telephone functions and services but for the cost of a local call.

Views will be sought during the 14-week study period from 084 service providers, 084 users, NHS groups that do not use 084 numbers, the telecoms sector and other parties.

The DoH said it has already issued the NHS guidance on use of 084 numbers and believes there are options able to provide consumers with the services they need.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw, who is also the Labour MP for Exeter, said the department was “concerned” about people who regularly pay “over the odds” to contact the NHS.

“These costs can soon mount up,” he explained. “We receive regular complaints from members of the public and parliamentarians about this.”

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