To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department provides to (a) primary care trusts and (b) service providers on their use of numbers with the prefix (i) 0845 and (ii) 087.
General medical services (CMS) contractors were banned from using premium rate numbers (09 or 087) via The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations SI 2005 No. 893. The ban came into force in April 2005 but did not include 084 numbers.
"patients should not be expected to pay more than the equivalent of a local call".
The Department is currently gathering evidence on the use of 0844 numbers in general practice and will consider what further action is necessary in light of that evidence.