"call charges"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

Anything else?

why do you charge premium rate charges to ring the hospital, surely you are ripping off the people who need your assistance, why can we not ring the hospital direct, and dont say the reception would not have time to answer calls as that would be a poor and laughable excuse.

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Peter Thank you for your recent feedback. I would firstly like to reassure you that our 084 number does not charge at a premium rate. The patients and their families who use our 084 are charged at the lower rate of 4p per minute. In August 2007, we created a central switchboard to improve our service to patients by allowing us to have all of our hospitals, including community hospitals, on one switchboard which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As we are geographically one of the largest trusts in the country, our hospitals are not within one dialling code area. Our patients, their families and friends regularly call hospitals which are not within their dialling code so would be charged national rates for these. We charge a lower rate of 4p a minute for our 084 number. This number ensures everyone calling the Trust is charged the same rate which on many occasions is cheaper. We try to give our patients the option of using a local number where possible by having direct dial local numbers for most wards and departments. This means if someone is calling to enquire about a relative on a ward or to check an outpatient appointment and they live locally they could use the local rate number. However, this is not possible for A&E at North Tyneside Hospital who do not have a direct line. I hope you find this information helpful. Best Wishes Annie Annie Laverty – Director of Patient Experience

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