BT scraps charges for practices' 0845 numbers

Patients are now able to ring hundreds of GP practices for free, after BT scrapped the charges to call 0845 numbers.

Photograph: iStockphoto
Photograph: iStockphoto

More than 1,000 practices use the pricy 0845 numbers, which provide extra functions such as queuing for unanswered calls.

Practices have been under growing pressure to drop the lines, which cost patients up to 5.8p a minute to phone.

The decision to scrap the charges will mean that, from Friday 16 January, patients will be able to phone around 300 practices that use 0845 numbers for free.

The larger number of practices which use 0844 numbers will be unaffected, however.

Ceri Stanaway, a researcher at consumer group Which?, also noted that the fees have only been scrapped for those ringing from BT phones.

Those ringing from other networks, or whose are on certain BT call plans, ‘will still often be paying far too much for the privilege,’ she said.

  • Should practices stop using 0844 numbers?

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