Hospital trust made more than £100k from 0844 phone mumbers

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The NHS trust which runs Pinderfields Hospital made more than £100,000 last year from controversial 0844 telephone numbers.

The trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, received a 4p payment from each call made to four 0844 numbers.

Mid Yorkshire made £102,000 in revenue in 2012-13, £66,000 in 2011-12 and £60,000 in 2010-11 from the numbers.

NHS campaigners say the “expensive” numbers should not be allowed because the NHS is taxpayer-funded and not allowed to charge for patient care.

David Hickson, of campaign group Fair Telecoms, said: “The Department of Health issued directions, not guidance, to NHS bodies back in December 2009 giving them 12 months to get off expensive telephone numbers.

“Mid Yorkshire is one of a relatively small number which didn’t.”

Carole Langrick, Mid Yorkshire’s chief operating officer, said: “The cost of calls to this number has not been raised as an issue with us, since they are charged at 5p per minute, which is cheaper than the standard BT landline rate of 7.6p per minute.

“However, it is vital that people are able to get in touch with us to access our services quickly and efficiently, and welcome any further feedback about this service so we can make it as effective as possible.”