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It was not too long ago that it seemed most GP surgeries and health centres had 0844 numbers, but their existence has slowly dwindled with the revelation of the cost of calls being charged to the patient.

These 0844 numbers did have a valid purpose at one time as they offered GP surgeries and...

09/07
2013
Patients should not be paying for GP surgeries’ call queuing facilities
Posted by Caroline Moore on 09/07 at 10:42 AM Videos and webinars, Healthcare, On-premise telephone systems, Healthcare,

It was not too long ago that it seemed most GP surgeries and health centres had 0844 numbers, but their existence has slowly dwindled with the revelation of the cost of calls being charged to the patient.

These 0844 numbers did have a valid purpose at one time as they offered GP surgeries and health centres the option to queue their calls. However, this came at a price for patients with incoming call charges ranging from 1p to 5p per minute to create a revenue stream.

Not that expensive? Well, it depends on how long you are kept on hold to speak to a receptionist and these charges are even more costly when patients use a mobile as 0844 numbers fall outside the remit of the majority of inclusive call bundles or payment plans which tend to offer unlimited free calls to 01 or 02 numbers.

Patient groups were up in arms at the charges levied and felt it cost them money to be sick! This resulted in Government measures to ban GP surgeries from charging any more than the local rate. However, patients still remain suspicious of 0844 numbers even though their health centre may no longer be making any money out of them.

SWComms has helped many GP surgeries and health centres migrate from their 0844 numbers by making use of features and functions such as automated attendant, call queuing and call recording which can all be included in a tailored telephone system solution that will relieve the stress and strain put on receptionists while ensuring your patients know they will not be met with an engaged tone or inflated call charges.

 
Posted by
Caroline Moore's avatar
Caroline Moore on 09/07/2013

Former newspaper journalist, Caroline joined the company in 2008 with no previous knowledge of the industry.

She set about stripping back all the jargon to produce plain English marketing collateral to support the sales teams. Now slightly more well-versed in the dark arts of voice, connectivity and data services, Caroline writes blogs, case studies, data sheets and social media updates to engage with potential and existing customers.

This industry is far cry from her previous working life when she worked as communications manager for Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints.


Contact: caroline.moore@swcomms.co.uk