Sheffield GPs’ expensive phone numbers

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SHEFFIELD GPs are being urged to ensure their practices stop making patients use expensive 0844 and 0845 numbers to contact them.

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, has written to all NHS GP Surgeries in his constituency about the use of the numbers, which attract high charges of up to 30p a minute for people not using BT lines or mobile phones.

Mr Betts said: “With effect from April 2011, GPs are required to ensure that telephone callers to their practices are not charged more than the standard geographical rate.

“However, some GP practices are continuing to use 084 numbers which cost more from non-BT operators and from mobile phones.

“Practices are meant to have take steps to ensure callers from these numbers are not over-charged.”

He added: “Some constituents have complained to me that it appears that some GP practices have not yet implemented these requirements. It is unacceptable if some patients are made to pay considerably more than appropriate for calling their surgery.”