Doctor's surgeries are still using 0844 numbers, but they are compromising

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It was back in December that we last blogged about this. Pretty much the same story has popped up again, different online newspaper this time. But, there were a couple of new points to this that have come out from the NHS.

Avoiding contract termination charges

The spokeswoman for the NHS made a fair point, in my opinion, regarding avoiding contract termination charges and the fact that this is public money. So you could accept this point as the reason why there are still 0844 numbers out there when trying to contact a local surgery. Shaun was talking about the appropriate use of 08 numbers for the NHS just last month so you could say that there is the potential for the NHS to recycle these numbers and use them elsewhere and move more quickly to just an 01 number for the surgery. But, there does appear to be a quicker solution that some are employing.

Meeting national requirements for an 01 number

The surgeries are simply advertising both the 0844 number and 01 number. Why anyone would choose to phone the 0844 number instead of the 01 number, I don’t know, but at least they’re implementing the solution. There is then the argument that they don’t need to show the 0844 number at all. Just move on now and stop all this confusion.

David Orrell