Deadline for GPs’ phones

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DOCTORS’ surgeries across Sheffield are working towards a deadline at the end of this month to have their telephone numbers switched over to a local geographic code.

Information obtained by the Sheffield Local Involvement Network or LINk - an organisation which encourages patient and public involvement in health and social care - found 72 out of the 114 surgeries in the city are still using the 0844 or 0845 numbers, which can charge up to 41p a minute.

A Department of Health deadline in April to see them switched has now passed, but primary care trust NHS Sheffield has said practices are being advised to change to a geographical rate number by the end of the month.

Sheffield LINk is asking patients to let them know if their practice does not adhere to the guidelines. Visit www.sheffieldlink.org.uk or call 0114 253 6690 to contact them.