Man faced with £11 bill to ring Rugby doctors

Barby resident, John Mitchell, ended up paying �12 to make an appointment at the doctors.
Barby resident, John Mitchell, ended up paying �12 to make an appointment at the doctors.

A Barby man was left with a bill for £11.25 for one telephone call to his doctor’s to make an appointment.

John Mitchell, 65, of Rectory Road, said he thinks it’s disgusting the 0844 number is being used by Whitehall Medical Practice - but staff at the surgery say there has been a mistake on the bill.

Mr Mitchell thinks people who used the Morton Gardens centre in Rugby should be made more aware of the fees.

Mr Mitchell said: “I do not ring or have regular contact with the doctor at Rugby Whitehall Medical Practice.

“I had occasion to ring in February to make an appointment and phoned at 8.30am to discover I was in a waiting list and was number 20 in the queue.

“I made the appointment, saw a nurse and got on with my life.”

He said he thought nothing more of the visit until his telephone bill arrived.

“When I received our latest telephone bill I found to my horror the calls to the surgery are 0844 numbers,” added Mr Mitchell. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous and makes me worry about old people who may be stung with a huge bill that they can’t afford.”

He said it took a long time before they answered the call so he could make the appointment.

“It was 25 minutes,” he added. Something’s got to be done about this.”

Wendy Jennings, manager at Whitehall Medical Practice, said she would like to see Mr Mitchell’s bill as she is concerned he has been overcharged. She said: “I totally agree it’s a ludicrous amount to pay.

“Nobody should have to pay that to make an appointment with us. We are not happy with the service, which is provided to us. I would like to show the bill to them as it could well be a mistake.”

She said it should cost 4.2p per minute and is not a premium rate number.

“We would like our patients to know that we do not make any money from the service,” she added.