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At the heart of general practice since 1960

PMS revamp aims to give contract a kick start

Practices could be banned from using 084 local-call rate telephone numbers as well as the national 0870 prefix.

The Department of Health has asked PCTs to review whether practices can use any non-geographic numbers.

The ban would come despite the Government having given practices with 0870 numbers £500 to switch to an 084 alternative. The move aims to stop NHS bodies making money from patients calling the numbers.

Calling an 0844 or 0845 number is a fraction of a penny more expensive than a local call and allows revenue sharing with the phone company.

Telephone regulator Ofcom is set to rule on the issue in the summer.

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