Health trust phone system to save £1m

First published in News

Oxford Health NHS Trust has signed up to a new phone service which will save £1 million over the next five years.

The foundation trust expects to make the savings by replacing its four phone systems with a “cloud-based” service from Vodafone.

The contact numbers for patients and the public will change but those new numbers have not been announced yet.

The current numbers will continue with call forwarding for up to a year once those new numbers are in place.

The trust said it would reduce patients’ calls being missed as the new system allowed calls to be forwarded to the correct service and the number of lines could be increased according to demand.

Related links

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:18am Tue 8 Apr 14

Gunslinger says...

What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones.

They need to be '0300' numbers chargeable at normal local rates or included in people's calls packages.

Organisations' phone 'improvements' have to be paid for and that is often through hidden charges to those calling in.
What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones. They need to be '0300' numbers chargeable at normal local rates or included in people's calls packages. Organisations' phone 'improvements' have to be paid for and that is often through hidden charges to those calling in. Gunslinger
  • Score: 7

9:38am Tue 8 Apr 14

angelox99 says...

Gunslinger wrote:
What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones.

They need to be '0300' numbers chargeable at normal local rates or included in people's calls packages.

Organisations' phone 'improvements' have to be paid for and that is often through hidden charges to those calling in.
'The contact numbers for patients and the public will change but those new numbers have not been announced yet.'

Nothing missing from the report, it is just that the information of what they numbers are to be are not available as yet.

I do wish people would read an article carefully before launching comments!
[quote][p][bold]Gunslinger[/bold] wrote: What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones. They need to be '0300' numbers chargeable at normal local rates or included in people's calls packages. Organisations' phone 'improvements' have to be paid for and that is often through hidden charges to those calling in.[/p][/quote]'The contact numbers for patients and the public will change but those new numbers have not been announced yet.' Nothing missing from the report, it is just that the information of what they numbers are to be are not available as yet. I do wish people would read an article carefully before launching comments! angelox99
  • Score: -7

11:08am Tue 8 Apr 14

Gunslinger says...

angelox99, I wasn't asking what the new numbers would be, just for assurances that when they were announced, they would not be premium rate or chargeable non-geographic ones. They must know what their contract provides for, it's a legitimate public concern.

We all remember those too-good-to-be true hospital phone deals a few years back that meant calling in to patients cost up to £5 a go.

Why don't you read exactly what I said?
angelox99, I wasn't asking what the new numbers would be, just for assurances that when they were announced, they would not be premium rate or chargeable non-geographic ones. They must know what their contract provides for, it's a legitimate public concern. We all remember those too-good-to-be true hospital phone deals a few years back that meant calling in to patients cost up to £5 a go. Why don't you read exactly what I said? Gunslinger
  • Score: 7

11:30am Tue 8 Apr 14

Arnold.Brewer says...

Does this mean someone will now answer the phone?
Does this mean someone will now answer the phone? Arnold.Brewer
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Feelingsmatter says...

Arnold.Brewer wrote:
Does this mean someone will now answer the phone?
Absolutely! As long as we're not busy changing beds, giving pain-killers, feeding someone, writing notes, taking someone to xray, holding the hand of someone who is in pain or dying ........
[quote][p][bold]Arnold.Brewer[/bold] wrote: Does this mean someone will now answer the phone?[/p][/quote]Absolutely! As long as we're not busy changing beds, giving pain-killers, feeding someone, writing notes, taking someone to xray, holding the hand of someone who is in pain or dying ........ Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Tue 8 Apr 14

angelox99 says...

you stated in your first comment, and I quote -

'What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones.'

How would anyone know this information if the numbers have not been released yet as stated in the article??!!

If the numbers had been made available, everyone would be fully aware of the charges!.

It does not take a huge mental ability to work out the above.
you stated in your first comment, and I quote - 'What is missing from this piece of reporting, is whether or not those new contact numbers will be premium or chargeable non-geographical ones.' How would anyone know this information if the numbers have not been released yet as stated in the article??!! If the numbers had been made available, everyone would be fully aware of the charges!. It does not take a huge mental ability to work out the above. angelox99
  • Score: -7

5:38pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Gunslinger says...

The Trust will know, because they have signed a contract that will 'save' them £1 million. Hopefully this saving will not partly be at the expense of people calling in, and is not unreasonable to expect them to be upfront about that, if it is in fact the case.

At the moment the Trust can be contacted on a local phone number 01865 741 717, which, if you have a mobile or landline calls package, can cost you nothing extra to call. If that changes, you could be paying considerably more, particularly from a mobile.

It doesn't take much mental agility to see this could take some of the gloss from the reported 'good news' story - a cost 'saving' of this order has to be recouped from somewhere.
The Trust will know, because they have signed a contract that will 'save' them £1 million. Hopefully this saving will not partly be at the expense of people calling in, and is not unreasonable to expect them to be upfront about that, if it is in fact the case. At the moment the Trust can be contacted on a local phone number 01865 741 717, which, if you have a mobile or landline calls package, can cost you nothing extra to call. If that changes, you could be paying considerably more, particularly from a mobile. It doesn't take much mental agility to see this could take some of the gloss from the reported 'good news' story - a cost 'saving' of this order has to be recouped from somewhere. Gunslinger
  • Score: 7

3:38pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Ian_SE says...

The Fair Telecoms Campaign fought a long battle to secure a ban on the use of 084 and 087 numbers by the NHS.

Department of Health directions to NHS bodies issued in December 2009 stipulate that 084 and 087 numbers were no longer to be used. Since the end of 2007, Ofcom has promoted 030 numbers as being a suitable number range for use by public services.

In April 2010, the Department of Health amended GP practice contracts to ban the use of 084 numbers by GPs. 087 and 09 numbers had already been banned in 2005. PCTs were lax in enforcing these contractual changes. With the scrapping of PCTs in April 2013 it has fallen to the various NHS England local area teams to sort out any remaining non-compliance issues.

With all that has happened in the last few years, it would be extremely foolhardy for any NHS body to attempt to start using an 084 or 087 number.

A quick call to the Oxford Health NHS Trust this morning confirms the new numbers will be "geographic-rate numbers" and "NOT chargeable 084 or 087 numbers".

Oxfordshire residents can breath a sigh of relief on this particular issue. Elsewhere there is much more work to do on these and related issues.
The Fair Telecoms Campaign fought a long battle to secure a ban on the use of 084 and 087 numbers by the NHS. Department of Health directions to NHS bodies issued in December 2009 stipulate that 084 and 087 numbers were no longer to be used. Since the end of 2007, Ofcom has promoted 030 numbers as being a suitable number range for use by public services. In April 2010, the Department of Health amended GP practice contracts to ban the use of 084 numbers by GPs. 087 and 09 numbers had already been banned in 2005. PCTs were lax in enforcing these contractual changes. With the scrapping of PCTs in April 2013 it has fallen to the various NHS England local area teams to sort out any remaining non-compliance issues. With all that has happened in the last few years, it would be extremely foolhardy for any NHS body to attempt to start using an 084 or 087 number. A quick call to the Oxford Health NHS Trust this morning confirms the new numbers will be "geographic-rate numbers" and "NOT chargeable 084 or 087 numbers". Oxfordshire residents can breath a sigh of relief on this particular issue. Elsewhere there is much more work to do on these and related issues. Ian_SE
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree