Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 April 2006 to question 59146 on the National Blood Service, what estimate the National Blood Service has made of the number of calls made from call centres in her Department in 2004–05 using predictive dialling; and how many such calls resulted in silent calls.

Photo of Caroline Flint

Caroline Flint (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health), Department of Health; Don Valley, Labour)

Data for the year 2004–05 can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the National Blood Service (NBS) has provided data for thepast year.

The NBS made 1,467,382 calls between 1 March 2005 and 21 April 2006. Over this time period, 3.7 per cent. of these calls were abandoned, representing those occasions when the called person answers and it appears no-one is there, due to the slight delay before an operator comes on the line. The NBS continues to improve its abandonment rates, which have dropped to three per cent, in January 2006. These levels are within Ofcom's guidelines of no more than 5 per cent. silent calls.

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