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    • divadee
    • By divadee 31st Aug 06, 11:00 AM
    • 10,451 Posts
    • 17,891 Thanks
    divadee
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:00 AM
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:00 AM
    i think the prices are shocking!!!

    when mr divadee was in hospital a few years ago, it was cheaper to nuy one of the patientline phonecards and for him to call me as that was 10p a minute to call out to a landline.

    might be an option for others, but then i think the cheapest phonecard is 5 so might not be worth it if you are only going to be in hospital for a day or so!!!
    • WestonDave
    • By WestonDave 31st Aug 06, 11:12 AM
    • 5,038 Posts
    • 8,521 Thanks
    WestonDave
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:12 AM
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:12 AM
    The blanket ban on mobiles needs investigating especially in light of Patientline charges.

    We were told when DS was born 18mths ago that it was fine to use a mobile in the delivery area, and on the wards. The only restriction we found was that when they moved to a cottage hospital they asked us to make and receive calls in the corridor to keep the noise down in the ward itself.

    Clearly there is some equipment which will be affected by mobiles (stick a turned on mobile next to a stereo speaker and you'll hear the effect it has on electromagnetic devices), and clearly someone yakking away on a mobile can be disruptive on a ward, but surely there must be some compromise on a general medical ward.
    • Fran
    • By Fran 31st Aug 06, 11:35 AM
    • 11,016 Posts
    • 6,469 Thanks
    Fran
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:35 AM
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:35 AM
    Yes I felt the same a few months ago.




    Edit - Phone charges at hospital discussion 6/10/06.
    Last edited by Fran; 06-10-2006 at 7:29 AM.
    Torgwen.......... ...........

    I'm a volunteer Board Guide on Techie, Benefits & Employment, Energy, Small biz & Charities and Redundancy boards to help them run smoothly & I can move posts & threads but don't read them all. Dealing with illegal or inappropriate posts is not part of my role. Please report them to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Views are mine not official MoneySavingExpert ones.
    • Fran
    • By Fran 31st Aug 06, 11:46 AM
    • 11,016 Posts
    • 6,469 Thanks
    Fran
    • #5
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:46 AM
    • #5
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:46 AM
    Hospital parking is another one....

    One, Two, Three, Four threads on Vent board.

    Edit - Also 5/10/06 Parking charges at hospital discussion.
    Last edited by Fran; 06-10-2006 at 7:25 AM.
    Torgwen.......... ...........

    I'm a volunteer Board Guide on Techie, Benefits & Employment, Energy, Small biz & Charities and Redundancy boards to help them run smoothly & I can move posts & threads but don't read them all. Dealing with illegal or inappropriate posts is not part of my role. Please report them to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Views are mine not official MoneySavingExpert ones.
    • iwanttosave
    • By iwanttosave 31st Aug 06, 11:54 AM
    • 32,245 Posts
    • 23,299 Thanks
    iwanttosave
    • #6
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:54 AM
    • #6
    • 31st Aug 06, 11:54 AM
    Something really does need to be done about this, its not even like the money is put back into the hospitals, not that that makes it ok because thats why we pay our taxes.

    When I was having bubba there were a few things wrong so obviously concerned family members were phoning me every now and then to see how I was. Over the few days that I was there, their phone bill soon crept up, and at the time people don't think about it because they want to know their loved ones are ok.
    Work like you don't need money,
    Love like you've never been hurt,
    And dance like no one's watching

    Save the cheerleader, save the world!
    • spook
    • By spook 31st Aug 06, 12:10 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    spook
    • #7
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:10 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:10 PM
    Patientline get a lot of bad press and I agree with a lot of it, but I'm not sure I'd describe them in such harsh terms.

    Firstly, I do agree that the incoming call charges are too high, and I'm pretty sure that these are under investigation by OFCOM. (I believe that they are going to be required to provide a direct external phone number for each bedside, to eliminate the extra 2 minutes of recorded messages).

    However as someone who spent several days in a hospital last year, I do feel like I should make a few points in Patientline's defence...
    • I've never seen any information from them that doesn't clearly show the incoming call charges, and don't forget that just a couple of years ago there was basically no way to contact relatives in hospital, other than phoning the ward - which is still an option anyway.
    • I think that the outgoing charges of 10p/minute are fairly reasonable, and (I believe) cheaper than calling from a payphone - correct me if I'm wrong.
    • They provide all patients with free radio services 24 hours a day, including hospital radio where this exists.
    • You also get free TV for an hour at breakfast time.
    Also, a word of advice - If possible, don't buy the vouchers, top up by debit card instead. You can then ring them when you get home and have any unused credit refunded to your card.
  • 5hreek
    • #8
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:34 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:34 PM
    I agree that those incoming charges are a disgrace but also agree with spook - Patient Line (and other private companies) invested in the infrastructure to bring TV and telephone direct to the patient's bed. Previously it was a shared TV or payphone on the ward or a trip to the day room - the alternative was to have the NHS pay for it and I'd rather have the NHS spending money on medical stuff than this kind of thing. So Patient Line should be allowed to recoup the cost of that investment - and yes, make a profit (shock, horror!) . However, the amount of profit could be investigated.

    And here is the result of my investigation:

    http://www.patientlinesystems.com/images/uk/Report%20page%2055.pdf

    So, EBIT is always positive but Patient Line has had and operating loss for the last 5 years - someone more financially astute than me can comment here but it's either a rubbish business or creative accounting.
    • iwanttosave
    • By iwanttosave 31st Aug 06, 12:39 PM
    • 32,245 Posts
    • 23,299 Thanks
    iwanttosave
    • #9
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:39 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Aug 06, 12:39 PM
    Prisoners get their own telly for £1 a week, why should someone ill pay more than that a day?
    Work like you don't need money,
    Love like you've never been hurt,
    And dance like no one's watching

    Save the cheerleader, save the world!
    • Fran
    • By Fran 31st Aug 06, 12:45 PM
    • 11,016 Posts
    • 6,469 Thanks
    Fran
    5hreek,

    Those figures are totally meaningless to me. Where are they from? What "investigation" did you do and what sources did you use? What is your interest in it?
    Torgwen.......... ...........

    I'm a volunteer Board Guide on Techie, Benefits & Employment, Energy, Small biz & Charities and Redundancy boards to help them run smoothly & I can move posts & threads but don't read them all. Dealing with illegal or inappropriate posts is not part of my role. Please report them to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Views are mine not official MoneySavingExpert ones.
  • DrFluffy
    The prices are shocking, but there are concessions - children, the elderly and people in hospice/long term care do not pay.
    The way I look at it is would you rather the NHS be paying for patient X to watch TV, or for patient Y to recieve expensive treatment for breast cancer... It's a hospital not an entertainments complex...PS - the hospitals do not profit from them... Patientline do.

    Patient Line is a commercial venture and a luxury... thankfully we are a nation who would rather use its very limited NHS resources to treat people rather than entertain them
    April Grocery Challenge 81/120
    • Fran
    • By Fran 31st Aug 06, 1:10 PM
    • 11,016 Posts
    • 6,469 Thanks
    Fran
    The prices are shocking, but there are concessions - children, the elderly and people in hospice/long term care do not pay.
    The way I look at it is would you rather the NHS be paying for patient X to watch TV, or for patient Y to recieve expensive treatment for breast cancer... It's a hospital not an entertainments complex...PS - the hospitals do not profit from them... Patientline do.
    by DrFluffy
    You can't make comparisons like that, it's like saying if you allow older people concessions on the buses then your bins won't be emptied. Different pots.

    Patient Line is a commercial venture and a luxury... thankfully we are a nation who would rather use its very limited NHS resources to treat people rather than entertain them
    Entertaining is an extremely important part of a patient's recovery by mood improvement and also distraction from pain.

    So is talking to relatives and friends.
    Last edited by Fran; 31-08-2006 at 1:13 PM.
    Torgwen.......... ...........

    I'm a volunteer Board Guide on Techie, Benefits & Employment, Energy, Small biz & Charities and Redundancy boards to help them run smoothly & I can move posts & threads but don't read them all. Dealing with illegal or inappropriate posts is not part of my role. Please report them to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Views are mine not official MoneySavingExpert ones.
  • DrFluffy
    you can make comparisons like that - at the end of the day, a hospital is a hsoiptal. There were no TVs in wards 20 years ago, outcomes were not different. Talking face to face witha volunteer or member of staff is far, far more beneficial than watching TV. Most patients should be being encouraged to get up and about - stop DVTs etc... Not to lie languishing in bed, watching TV. There is almost always a pay phone near by too...

    BTW - I've yet to work on a ward where a patient who couldn't afford it was not allowed to bring in a portable TV from home...
    April Grocery Challenge 81/120
    • bethom
    • By bethom 31st Aug 06, 1:24 PM
    • 16,152 Posts
    • 6,667 Thanks
    bethom
    When OH went into hospital recently mobiles were in use all the time. Even staff were seen using them in the corridors.

    Obviously they arn't allowed in certain area's, like near heart machines etc, but they can be used elsewhere. OH called me a few times from the corridor, and when I was in there I had mine on in the corridors waiting for a call to say he was back from his op. Even when he was in bed after the op and I had gone home the very kind staff found him some phonecards with a few pence on so he could call me, that other patients had left behind cos they hadn't used them all.

    I think hospitals should have a pot of them if patients don't use up all their money to pass onto others, but I would think perhaps that most don't as that isn't getting them extra money.

    I think it is wrong to charge so much to call someone in hospital, a soothing voice from someone who cannot be there with them can make them feel so much better and even help them into an earlier recovery to free up beds and help ease a little of the congestion.
    I live in my own little world, but it's ok as everyone knows me here
  • terriblesaver
    PATIENTLINE .... HMMM.

    I worked in recruitment for 10 years and for 18 months we supplied staff here - we had to take them off site regularly as they never paid their bills ... always used to say they didn't have the money ..... oh ha ha ha. Thats why the rich get richer and the poor go into liquidation
    Terriblesaver - hoping to improve!!! Unsecured debt ... 57938 51453
    Official DFW Nerd no 176
    Reclaimed and won Capital One 224, Paragon 758, GE Capital 63 and 135
    • poorbutrich
    • By poorbutrich 31st Aug 06, 2:13 PM
    • 1,515 Posts
    • 5,863 Thanks
    poorbutrich
    Just wanted to say to Martin that I hope your Dad gets better soon.
  • Vickylin
    I used patientline to phone up my friend in hospital last year. I used it about 3 times, thought it would cheer her up knowing how boring it can be in hospital. My bill came to 15. Its my own fault for not finding out but at no point did I know what price per minute I was paying or I would have been a lot more prudent.

    Lesson learnt.
    • JenIttels
    • By JenIttels 31st Aug 06, 4:37 PM
    • 531 Posts
    • 321 Thanks
    JenIttels
    When my mother was in hospital she gave me her patientline number (or whatever it was that i needed) and warned me the prices were insanely high and suggested I not use it. Obviously I wanted to hear from her so sucked up the charges and rang her but the whole time i was speaking to her she was trying to keep the conversation short so that the call didn't cost me too much :confused:

    It was a while ago now but i seem to remember that we weren't allowed to phone the ward and get put through to her (though i think we could leave messages) - we could only use patient line.

    Hope your dad is ok.
  • 5hreek
    5hreek,

    Those figures are totally meaningless to me. Where are they from? What "investigation" did you do and what sources did you use? What is your interest in it?
    by Fran
    Fran - the weblink i provided is to the patient line financial figures for the last 5 years (that's the sum of my research). Those figures state that Patient Line has made an operating loss for the last 5 years - and actually that loss has been increasing every year.

    The reason I say it might be creative accounting is that their figure for "Earnings Before Interest, Tax, etc" (EBIT) is always positive - so they're losing money because they pay tax, interest on loans and other stuff that isn't really to do with running the hospital systems - it's to do with running a business. I didn't look at how much the directors pay themselves but I'm sure it's a healthy salary. If you look at their share price, it's also dived from around 60 to less than 10 in about a year. As I also said, someone who understand all this accounting stuff better than me could probably give a better answer - but I'm just trying to contribute to the debate.

    I have no interest whatsoever in the company, other than - like Martin and Spook - had to use them when I was in hospital, or family were in hospital. It's certainly better than the shared TV option, but I agree that the incoming call charges are shocking - better to buy the patient credits and get them to call you back.

    And - I really hope Martin's dad is OK.
  • littlemissmoney
    Patient Line has had and operating loss for the last 5 years - someone more financially astute than me can comment here but it's either a rubbish business or creative accounting.
    by 5hreek
    5hreek, when figures are written in brackets that means they are negative. And a negative loss is a profit. So after tax in 2005 they made £12.085 million profit. Creative accounting ay
    Last edited by littlemissmoney; 31-08-2006 at 5:14 PM.
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