Unless GP practices with 084 phone numbers switch their telephone number in the next two months they will have to declare their call costs to patients wherever the number is published, under new regulation.
According to information provided to NHS Choices by the GPs themselves, through their clinical commissioning groups, there are still 184 surgeries using 084 numbers today, which cost up to 7p per minute to call.
From 1 July 2015, the new UK Calling campaign means these call charges must be clearly published. The campaign is being led by Ofcom, the communications regulator, who is working together with major landline and mobile phone companies.
UK Calling is the name for the changes that are happening to make telephone charges clearer, and the information campaign to communicate them.
From July unclear statements will also not be permitted, for example ‘Other landline costs may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.’ Instead they suggest the wording ‘Calls cost xp (or xp per minute) plus your phone company’s access charge’.
If your GP practice has a 084 number, find out what you need to do here.