"Comment relates to shameful use of premium phone..."

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

What could be improved

Disgraceful use of premium phone line - shameful is the only word that springs to mind.

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Responses

Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Thank you for your comments posted on this website.

The Trust is sorry to hear about your concerns regarding the cost of telephone calls. We are assuming that you refer to the use of the 0844 number. The 0844 8118111 is the non-geographic local rate number for the switchboard services of the three acute hospitals’ of Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck as well as the smaller hospitals of Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth and Morpeth. Our Contact Centre also uses a non-geographic local rate number 0844 8118118.

The 0844 numbers are charged a local rate of 4p per minute at all times from BT fixed lines; however, other telephone providers such as mobile phone companies are free to set their own charges. We reduced the cost from 5p per minute to 4p per minute in 2010 and have since held the price steady unlike other operators i.e. BT who increase their prices yearly.

The reason we use a non-geographic number is that our hospitals cover a very large geographic area and if we advertised the 0191 number then callers from Haltwhistle. Hexham, Alnwick & Berwick etc. would have to pay the higher national rate for the calls.

If you have any other queries about telephone pricing please write to the Trust with details of your concerns and we will be able to write to you personally.

If you decide to write to us the address is:

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Patient Services

Northumbria House

Unit 7/8 Silver Fox Way

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE27 0QJ

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