Health helpline costs pounds 16 a call, Labour says
Monday 02 May 1994
The service, set up two years ago under the Patient's Charter, forms a nation-wide network of information centres with a freephone number.
David Blunkett, Labour's health spokesman, said analysis of Commons replies showed that with department of health set-up costs included, the bill reaches pounds 3,730,066.
Calculations based on the number of calls taken and the operating costs reveal that running costs over the past two years amount to an average of pounds 9.80 for each call. Start-up, regional, department of health and publicity costs make the figure rise to pounds 15.90.
During the first two years of operation only 234,656 people called the service, representing an average of 489 calls a day.
Mr Blunkett said: 'The Patient's Charter has failed to curb the waste which exists in every corner of Mrs Bottomley's NHS. In fact it is contributing directly to the misuse of resources.'
Dr Brian Mawhinney, the health minister, said 136,000 people used the line last year and more were expected to do so this year. The average cost of a call would fall with the passage of time.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...