"Another reason to avoid this hospital"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

What could be improved

This is the only major hospital Tyneside to charge premium phone call rate - why?

Anything else?

I've already paid my taxes to use this hospital so why do I have to pay extra to call 0844 when such numbers are not included in most 'all inclusive' phone tariffs

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Responses

Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

We are sorry to hear you have concerns about the call rates. In August 2007, we created a central switchboard to allow us to have all of our hospitals, including community hospitals, on one switchboard which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As we are geographically one of the largest trusts in the country, our hospitals are not within one dialling code area. Our patients, their families and friends regularly call hospitals which are not within their dialling code so would be charged national rates for these. We charge a lower rate of 4p a minute for our 0844 number which on many occasions is cheaper.

We try to give our patients the option of using a local number where possible by having direct dial local numbers for most wards and departments. This means if someone is calling to enquire about a relative on a ward or to check an outpatient appointment and they live locally they could use the local rate number.

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