I quote a Department of Health Media Release today:
"Health Secretary Andrew Lansley today said that the standard of patient services provided by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust must improve substantially."
I endorse this view. “BHR” is one of a number of NHS bodies which continue to use 084 telephone numbers, so as to obtain subsidy for their costs at the expense of patients. (See this briefing.) This is despite clear Directions issued by Mr Lansley's Department in December 2009, demanding compliance by December 2010.
I hope that Mr Lansley will ensure that this is amongst the issues which this rogue Trust will have to address, albeit nearly two years late.
It is vital that NHS Bodies cease use of telephone numbers that cause patients to incur a premium charge, primarily to follow the principle that the NHS does not levy charges on patients.
This is also important so as to demonstrate to GPs, contracted providers of NHS services, that they too need to comply with the terms of their contracts by ceasing use of 084 numbers.