back to article Patientline ups charges

Patientline is more than doubling the price paid by patients making phone calls from hospital. Calls from a hospital bed currently cost 10p a minute, but this is going up to 26p. Patientline provides internet access, televisions, and phones for hospital patients. Patientline claims the cost is justified because of its …

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Des

Another case of captive audience

Patients should (if they are physically able) lie on their stomachs so that they can be shafted more easily by service providers, or they could just leave their wallets open on the bedside cabinets. Another case of rip-off Britain, and again patients are easy targets. It was only recently that there were reports of the excessive charges incurred when parking on hospital grounds for the purposes of receiving treatment or visiting sick friends and relatives.

I stay in hotels quite frequently and would like to make use of the internet, but I'm put off by the excessive 50p per minute charge no matter how much bandwidth I use. Thankfully my generous hotel caps this at £20 per night, but this is almost what I pay monthly at home for a dedicated broadband link that I have to share with nobody.

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What a crock of s**t

"Patientline claims the cost is justified because of its infrastructure investment."

Err, do they mean like the infrastructure put in place by BT that doesn't charge 40p/minute, or the infrastructure put in place by O2 (and the rest of the mobile networks) that don't charge 40p/minute inspite of allowing themselves to be fleeced out of 20+ BILLION pounds for 3G licences, or the infrastructure put in place by the cable companies that don't charge 40p/m, ...

No, this an outright bit of spin worthy of NuLab to hide a cash grab worthy of G Brown !

And, like the unsupportable parking charges, it's supported by the hospital administrators forced to make money out of their patients in what was supposed to be a free service.

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Anonymous Coward

ABSOLUTE DISGRACE

This is another outrageous decision that has again run past the NHS. Thanks to this, a dying relative of mine who is morbidly ill will be paying yet even more money to make contact with family. Of course the Government won't stop this from going ahead if they actually are making money from this. could this be another way of making money from people who are more or less paying for there own treatment though taxes. Don't forget that there are many old and retired people facing these charges. Most have been paying taxes from a young age to fund this corrupt system that is the NHS.

ROBBING BAS*ARDS

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When I am old and sick ...

.. they'll have to put up with my use of a mobile phone in their damned hospitals. There's no real reason to ban mobile use in hospitals other than to create a captive market for these grossly extortionate "services".

When I get the inevitable range of age-related diseases and conditions that require me to spend time in their rat-infested, filthy sinks of disease and infection, they'll have to pry my Nokia from my cold, dead hand.

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Anonymous Coward

What prisioners get free sick people have to pay for

Patientline are not making huge profits from Patients, they are not that clever. The company's shares are currently valued at less than 2p (and still falling) and is making huge losses. By the Chairman's own admission the company can not survive any longer than 12 months on current performance.

So what did Patienline's Directors and Managers (who put their staff under great pressure to sell the company's services to sick people) do last week ? They make matters worse by a botched 'restructruturing' of prices.

The recent 'restructuring of the prices of their products includes the abolition of the reduced rate for patients over 65, who will now have to pay the full daily rate of £2.90 and not £1.70. Patientline also increased the price of outgoing calls from the bedside from 10 p per min to 26p and introduced a minimum call charge of 40p (previously 20p) for outgoing calls which is charged regardles of whether an outgoing call is answered or not. The press release issued by Patienline last week was very enconomical with the truth.

So long as prisoners receive free TV and sick people have to pay for their TV viewing there will always be, understandably, complaints and only Politicians can put that right. Howvever, so long as Patientline operate with insensitivity, faulty equipment and causing great stress at the bedside they will continue to to be rightly critisised.

Is there any wonder that Patienlines staff sickness levels are so high we are trying to give a good service under great pressure.

'Bleeper' - A member of Patientline Staff.

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Don't use it then..........

Patientline provided this as a service. Due tot he fact they had to spend approx £1m per site (156 sites), then this has to be recouped.

Quite simply, if you don't like the charges & the service; DON'T USE IT!

BTW 'Bleeper', as a member of Patientline staff, should you be commenting on this? Just a guess, but don't think this will be in your remit. Why not leave your name?

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