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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

BMA welcomes consultation on the use of 084 numbers in the NHS

The announcement by the Department of Health that it's to launch a consultation on the use of 084 numbers by GP surgeries should be broadly welcomed.

The whole point of using phones to contact a GP, is to make it easier for people to get in touch with surgeries. But it should also be a cost-effective system for patients.

There is strong evidence that patient satisfaction has improved where the 084 numbers are used, with better and quicker access to services, because these telephone systems have added functions. GPs do not in any way want to profit from patients. But perhaps the public may think the added convenience these numbers provide, make the (usually small) additional cost worth it.

Let's not forget as well, that GPs were encouraged to switch their numbers in the first place to ensure better access for patients. And it’s not just GP surgeries which use these numbers, NHS Trusts do as well.

As the DoH has decided this issue now needs addressing, maybe it's time the Welsh Assembly Government did the same, so the Welsh public aren't paying more than those across the border, to get a GP appointment.

1 comment:

  1. The WAG is reviewing the use of 084 numbers. Not sure how much longer it will take:


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