Patient fumes over Welwyn Garden City surgery’s ‘costly’ phone system

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 April 2013

The Garden City Pracice in Guessens Road

The Garden City Pracice in Guessens Road

Archant

AN elderly patient has hit out after being forced to use a cash generating phone number to book a doctor’s appointment.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, says she is now £4 out of pocket due to the 0844 number used by The Garden City Practice, in WGC.

She said: “I don’t think it is right for us to pay this money, £4 is a lot of money for pensioners.”

The Garden City Practice has three branches in the town and a partner for the practice has acknowledged the problem with the line.

Dr Peter Shilliday said: “We are aware of the problem. It is not just us, there are other surgeries, it is a bit of a national issue. We are looking into it.

“We are stuck in the contract and I am aware we will not be renewing it.”

A spokesman for commissioners NHS England said: “NHS England supports and upholds previous guidance from the Department of Health, which states that GPs should always commission services that represent the best value for money for their patients.

“If a call to a geographical area code number is cheaper for patients, then GPs are strongly advised that this should be the preferred option.”

n The surgery is looking to start a patient group to improve feedback to the doctors.

To join, write to 11 Guessens Road, WGC, Herts, AL8 6QW.


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