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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Please Help to Save the NHS - a Request from Simon Burns

For the NHS to be preserved as "free at the point of need", patients cannot be allowed to provide financial subsidy to GPs and NHS bodies by calling 084 telephone numbers to access NHS services.

Since 1 April 2011 all NHS GP practices in England have been under a contractual duty to ensure that "persons will not pay more to make relevant calls to the practice than they would to make equivalent calls to a geographical number".

The clip below shows that the responsible minister in the UK government has been unable to identify any of the nearly 1,300 surgeries listed on NHS Choices where this requirement is still being breached. He appeals for help.

The relevant Hansard record is at column 56WH for 24 January 2012.


You can contact Mr Burns at this email address, according to the latest Cabinet Office publication of Government ministers and responsibilities.

If you are aware of any cases, please give the details very carefully. In a briefing to MPs and others, I provided a link to my database summarising and listing nearly 1,300 NHS GP surgeries in England. Mr Burns was unable to recognise that any cases were identified, even though every case is taken from NHS Choices and linked back to the published entry.

The list is also available directly at this link. This includes a link to a table of call costs under the terms of commonly used tariffs for the different types of numbers on the list.

A longer video clip is available - this includes a reference to the absence of detail from my briefing, and repetitions of the request for evidence.

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