GPs angered over practice telephone system charges

GPs have been urged to be wary of a telephone deal that has left some practices thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Dr John Cormack
Dr John Cormack

Practices say they have been contacted by firms that claim to be employed by BT, insisting they need to change their telephone systems.

Dr John Cormack, a GP in Essex, said he was approached by a salesman who claimed to represent a firm employed by BT. The salesman told him BT was hiring sub-contractors because it was swamped with work from the move to digital services.

Dr Cormack was told his practice, as a BT customer, needed to purchase a new digital phone system, which it would later be reimbursed for.

The practice received an initial reimbursement, but the firm then went into liquidation. But Dr Cormack remains tied to a contract with a leasing company that owns the phone system his practice now uses.

The John Tasker House Surgery, in Essex, had a similar experience. Practice manager Annie Taylor said the main surgery had converted to digital phones previously, and they were not surprised to be told their branch surgery needed to change over.

'However, the full cost of the contract is £25,000 and our main branch phone system cost us £7,500. We would never have signed up if we had thought we would be paying that much.'

Dr Cormack is now attempting to find other Essex practices that have been affected. To get in contact email jc@nhs.net.

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