Time for GPs to boycott Choose and Book
Most doctors do not endorse 0870 as the preferred code of telephone communication while time-tested codes starting '01' do the trick quickly and efficiently.
The extra charge infringes patients' statutory rights of access to the NHS by introducing a 'fee', while imposing automated options when a patient wants to speak to a real person goes against medical ethics.
The very idea of commercialising the calls means that 'real people' will be few and far between and the system will tend to prolong the agony of patients.
The Department of Health should make calls to GP surgeries and other health care establishments toll free 0800 numbers.
John George FRCS