Beverley MP Graham Stuart, a campaigner against the use of premium rate phone numbers by Government and the NHS, has discovered that seven GP practices in the East Riding are still using them.
In the past he has tabled Parliamentary Questions and called for a Debate to question the Minister about them, and remains concerned that these numbers are still rife across Government departments and their agencies.
Graham said: “It’s plain and simple that these rip-off numbers are wrong and the Government should get rid of them as soon as possible, especially since there are cheaper local-rate numbers available.
The Department of Health has listened and has banned GPs from using them.
“This is why I asked the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group what the situation is with GP practices in our area.
“The CCG tells me that there were seven GPs using these revenue-sharing telephone numbers: two of which have ceased to do so; four GP Practices have set up local-rate numbers for patients to use as an alternative to the expensive 084 number; and one offers to call back their patients. While I am pleased that all our GPs realise they need to offer an alternative cheap option for patients ringing in, I want to see the use of these revenue-sharing contracts stamped out.”