West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has been addressing constituents’ concerns over the use of 084 phone numbers for GP practices.
Whilst instructed by the NHS a number of years ago to stop using higher rate phone numbers, many surgeries were still using the 084 numbers, including some in West Lancashire.
The 084 numbers carry extra costs when phoning from landlines, including some phone providers charging an additional connection charge. Calls from mobiles are often considerably higher.
Rosie has worked closely with the NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group who have now provided an update that all surgeries in West Lancashire now offer a geographical number, rather than a 0844 or 0845.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“I am very pleased with the support the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has done to bring down the costs of calling GP practices for the people of West Lancashire.
“I am confident that the projects they are undertaking to ensure patients can call a local number at a local rate are progressing well.”
“It is important that GP services stop using 084 numbers which can both cost and cause problems for patients trying to reach their doctor.”
Local CCG Chief Officer Mike Maguire, emphasised the intention of the CCG to ensure 0844 and 0845 numbers were no longer used by local GPs.
Mr Maguire said:
“We’re constantly working in collaboration with our GP practices in West Lancashire to ensure that our patients get the experience they expect from their local NHS.
“We want our patients to feel confident that they can reach their GP surgeries when they need to and be charged at the local rate.”