Chronology of the ban on expensive 084 numbers in the NHS
This issue has been around for a number of years now and here’s a recap:
- December 2008: The DH launched a consultation which proposed a ban on the use of 084 numbers in the NHS in England.
- September 2009: The DH published its response to the consultation in which it said that it had received 3,000 responses. Around two thirds of these were from members of the public of which 87% wished to see a ban on the use of 084 numbers.
- December 2009: The DH issued Directions to NHS Bodies, giving them a year in which to take steps to make necessary changes so that callers paid no more than they do for geographic calls.
- April 2010: The DH issued the Variation to the Standard General Medical Services contract giving GPs and other contractors a year in which to take steps to make necessary changes so that callers paid no more than they do for geographic calls.
- July 2011: A Health Minister confirmed in Parliament that the ban applies to landlines, mobiles and public payphones alike.
- January 2012: A Health Minister said that the Government’s position is that callers should not pay any more than they do to ring a landline. It stands by the rules drawn up by the previous Administration, which stipulate this. He went on to reaffirm that the regulations cover landlines, mobiles and payphones equally.
- February 2012: The DH issued Further Guidance on the use of 084 numbers in the NHS.
- March 2012: The Secretary of State for Health stated succinctly that “GPs should not be using 0844 numbers.”
- April 2013: Warrington group of practices will be changing to a 0844 number this month.
- April 2013: Warrington group of practices perform U-turn, and will not be introducing 0844 number.
- May 2013: Daisy Surgery Line says it will no longer market 0844 numbers to NHS-related organisations.