"Calling hospital patients"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Telephoned my Grandmother whilst she was in the hospital, the number is not a recognisable high rate number so thought nothing of it.

Received my phone bill; 21 minute call has cost me £12!!!!!

Along with parking this seems to be another way the NHS discretely rip off patients & visitors which is a low tactic given some of the circumstances people are in related to being at a hospital.

I feel cheated & robbed.

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Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Dear Anonymous

Most of the Trust hospital beds are equipped with bedside TV/telephone facilities for patients to use if they choose to.

The system is provided by a company called Hospedia.

Unfortunately, their pricing structure is not within the control of the Trust.

Literature is available around the hospital (at the payment machines and on the terminal screen) to explain the pricing or you can call the Hospedia operator for further details. You can also find more details about the company on the Hospedia website (www.hospedia.co.uk) should you also wish to contact them directly.

We will, of course, feedback your concerns about the cost of the Hospedia system to the company as we do try to work with them to ensure our patients and relatives receive a good service.

The Trust website gives information regarding the facilities and does warn about higher rate charges to the bedside. http://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/patients/inpatient/visitors_14.html