Following West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper’s intervention on behalf of a constituent, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital contacted Hospedia requesting that cost of calls to patients be reduced or redirected to the hospital so that the bills for relatives contacting loved ones who have been admitted to hospital could be reduced. This is much needed to allow relatives to keep in touch with their ill family members who they aren’t allowed to visit during this Coronavirus crisis.
In response, Hospedia indicated that they would charge the Trust £10,000 per month.
The issue of call charges came to the attention of Rosie Cooper MP after being contacted by a constituent, Ms Irene Simpkin, who was charged £11 for phoning her elderly mother at Southport Hospital, where visitors are banned.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper responded:
“I am absolutely disgusted by the actions of heartless Hospedia who are cashing in on the Coronavirus crisis.
“Businesses up and down the country are bending over backwards to support the effort, restaurants providing free meals, launderettes washing NHS workers’ clothes for free, but here we have Hospedia charging premium rates for phonecalls to inpatients and offering to take the charge off the public but only in return for £10,000 per month from the hospital! The NHS should end the contract with heartless profiteering Hospedia as soon as possible.
“At a time such as this when we are warning the public about potential scammers, it is clear we don’t have to look too far to see where some businesses are happy to make a quick buck while others suffer.
“I have brought this to the attention of the Health Secretary demanding that he urgently intervene so that families can get to speak to their loved ones who are in hospital without the worry of overly expensive phone bills.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper added:
“Hospedia have refused to comment but we can only presume they aren’t too happy with the public reaction as they have now deleted their twitter account.”