Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Hospital phone costs to be reviewed


The cost of hospital bedside phone and television services will be reviewed by the Government amid calls to curb “extortionate” prices, MPs have heard.

Health minister Simon Burns said the Government would be “looking into” the issue following concerns expressed over a number of years.

He made the pledge after Tory MP Robert Halfon (Harlow) called for a crackdown on the “highly-priced” services.

Bedside phone and television services are provided in hospitals by third-party firms, with incoming calls charged as highly as 49p per minute and television costing as much as £7 per day.

During Commons question time, Mr Halfon said: “Will you review the problem of highly-priced patient lines, and introduce competition so that patients in Harlow and elsewhere no longer pay extortionate prices to watch TV or make calls?”

Mr Burns acknowledged it was an issue “of concern to many people” as he promised to examine the situation.

He went on: “Whilst I can’t promise the outcome of any review, you do have my assurance that we will be looking into it and we do take on board the concerns that have been expressed over a number of years.”

The previous government urged NHS trusts to relax the rules on mobile phones to help combat the monopoly on bedside services.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Good, these services should be kicked out of hospitals for good! They are no better than vultures preying on the weak!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • These charged-for services, like parking charges, are a tax on illness.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.