"Why do you still have 0845 No. ..."

About: Basildon University Hospital

(as a relative),

Anything else?

Why do you still have 0845 No. to contact our local hospital. Isn't it government saying public service organization cannot use premium no. anymore? Contacting hospital should not cost you more or should it?

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Response from Basildon University Hospital

We introduced the 0845 number so that our switchboard can operate from a different venue (eg Orsett Hospital) in the event of a disaster, such as a fire. Although 0845 numbers are not premium rate and are included in many phone providers "free" packages (for example BT), we have responded to our patients and public's concerns and are now promoting a 01268 number (http://www.basildonandthurrock.nhs.uk/page.asp?node=41&sec=Contact_us) to connect to the switchboard for those who prefer to use that. Since first introducing the 0845 number, we have also always given patients and visitors a direct 01268 number for the wards and departments they need to contact on a regular basis.

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