Thursday, May 24

Patientline Update

The above is taken from The Northern Echo 'Hear All Sides', today.
Double click the picture to enlarge.
This week the Patients In Need campaign is calling on NHS staff, former patients, and their friends and family to protest at their exorbant charge rates by 'phoning the company free on their customer care line free on 0800 956 3100. Please hurry before Patientline replaces the freephone number with a premium rate one!
It will be interesting to see how Patientline respond when thousands of unhappy people call. Please be polite, it is not the fault of Patientline's staff that the Directors have increased the cost of the pruducts to unaceptable hights.
We on this blog will be watching to see how Patientline's Commercial Director Charlotte Brown responds to questioning on The BBC Breakfast Time Progamme early on Friday morning. Perhaps she will admit the comany got it badly wrong and restore the reduced TV viewing rate as well as lower the telephone call out charge back down to 10 p per minute. We can but hope, if she does the editor will be pleased to send her a bottle of the finest Vintage Champagne.
Peter Troy can be contacted on
Contact Details
Tel. 0780 342 0995
Comments on this Blog are of course always encouraged. Very occasionally, as is inevitable comments are left which are libilous, offensive and downright inaccurate, these are of course deleted. Below in the comments section are two such postings, one of which (and maybe the other) have been written by a Patientline deputy manager. Naturally a complaint has been made to Patientline and is currently being dealt with by the Company Secretary. The comments on this ocassion have not been deleted since they represent an excellent example of why Patientline should not be a service provider to the NHS.
As regards ongoing postings about Patientline (UK) Ltd on this Blog it is our editorial policy to comment on the companies commercial policies and their impact on sick people and their families. We make no apologies for continuing to make comments whilst Patientline Directors remain insensitive to the needs of their customers.
Peter Troy
Editor - Very British Subjects


Sarah Hopperty said...

Ms Brown from Patientline looked very unhappy. Maybe she was thinking of all the Patients that would be paying 2.90 per day to watch her on Patientline Bedside TVs. Well looks as though she will not get that bottle of Bubbly from Peter.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Blog - dont let any of the negative buggers get you down.

Patientline need if they know what is good for them should take notice.

Anonymous said...

are you's all aware of what will happen if all continue on like sheep in this way? If patietnline were to be removed from the hospitals then anyone in there would be sitting there in the beds doing nothing bar reading a book as they wouldn't even have the free radio. nhs will not pay for the entertainment of its patients as they are only there to be healed. you people should think about this idiotic campaign it really is ridiculous

Peter Troy said...

The contents of your posting Anonymouus are nonsense. You really do need to think a bit more before engaging in dialogue. Clearly after a long day working for Patientline it would be difficult.

If Patientline cannot operate the system efficiently and at an affordable cost it will go into receivership. The asetts can then be transfered to newly created non profit making companies set up by a consortiumn of members of the individual Trusts and representitives of the Nursing and Care Unions. The service could then continue at affordable rates.

Hospital Radio has been broadcasting in hospitals since the 1950's long before Patientline was a thorn in the side of the NHS.

valerie G. Tibbles said...

Anonymous, what do you think most of the patients are doing now anyway, They can,t afford to use your equipment, and they are reading a book, which seems to me, to be a far better option anyway, at least they are getting value for money.

They do still have visitors lounges in hospital, and guess what , they still have tv in them too. so who needs your expensive equipment anyway. you do not need money or breakdown cover to pick up a book and read it.

Anonymous said...

Mr Troy, please forgive me for jumping to your defence, without asking first. I am afraid that the anonymous writer, makes me mad with their stupid comments.

They are one of two things, I feel, They either must own shares in patientline, or the man or woman, must have their head in the sand, to think that its ok to rip off the sick and vulnerable , like kicking a person when they are down,

how sad is that?

And what sort of person is he or she to condone what patientline is doing?

That is what makes me so mad and I just have to say something to try to open their eyes.
V. Tibbles

Peter Troy said...

Thank you for your supportive comments. If Anonymous does have shares in Patientline (UK) Ltd they will have lost a lot of money! The company is a basket case - the shares are worthless; only a few pence each.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for deleting this Peter but i can post it over and over again.
There must be some truth in it if your so quick to delete it.

Once again for people who missed it:


I, too am a former employee and whilst i didnt agree with a lot of things that went on at James Cook i feel people viewing these pages should also hear about your behaviour and more so of your collegue who also left the compnay. Firstly, i had countless reports from nursing staff you were actively discouraging patients and staff from using the system while still an employee of Patientline, this in itself would have been a disciplinary offence, not only that but other reports of your aggressive attitude towards nursing staff and patients did not go unseen. These may well have not been escalated further but lets be clear here, you are not the gleaming white saviour of the NHS you make out to be.
I also see you have failed to mention your former collegue, who left before he was dismissed for gross misconduct for committing fraud. Yes, this is the man who appeared on the BBC report as "Chris" the same man who also said he left because of principal and the rise in call charges etc. Absolutely nothing to do with the fact he was selling part used cards at full price to pensioners.
He wasnt even man enough to attend his own disciplinary hearing, instead choosing to admit his wrong doing and resigning before patientline dismissed him.

There are good people at Patientline who are actively trying to make a difference, isnt it about time you stopped acting like a bitter ex employee on a mission to discredit Patientlines every move?

I pity you, i really do.

Anonymous said...

every comment posted on these blog sites that differs in opinion to peter troy is removed. thats how pathetic he is. scared of the facts and of debate.

Anonymous said...

this article is full of incorrect facts

"Though I kept the calls to just five minutes a day, at 29p a minute"

this price does not exist.

"To call most mobile networks it costs 13p a minute at peak times, 8p per minute off peak, and just 5p per minute at the weekend. "

and... BT payphone minimum charge 40p.

"The other charge patients and families complain about is the cost of TV hire - an average of £2.90 a day. Sky TV costs from £15 a month - a sixth of this. "

incorrect, the average is £2.90 + £2 + £2.33 / 3 = £2.41.
Patientline also provide you with a TV screen, headphones, they clean it, maintain it for free, have a 24hour british call centre. How can you compare that with Sky?? Also... Sky then charge for internet and interactive games. these are included on patientline

"Although radio service is free, patients can't listen to it without headphones. "

radio can be used without headphones on most wards, and if patients want headphones they can ask for some, they don't cost anything.

The article is terrible it's clear that it has not been researched correclty. very biased.


Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people forget that Patientline is an optional service. Phones/TVs etc are provided for a patient if they choose to use them, they are not forced to do so.

There are still direct lines to wards which can be used in an emergency or to check up on how a patient is doing. This is no different from the way it was before Patientline. Patientline has not taken anything away from people wishing to contact relatives, they have added an extra option which the NHS are unwilling to provide free of charge (and rightly so in my opinion).

A patient in hospital for 5 days can have unlimited access to TV, Internet & computer games for just £10. Add 15 minutes of phone calls a day at 26p/minute you have just under £30 for 5 days entertainment.

For a lot of people, life outside hospital costs considerably more than £6 a day so when broken down, perhaps it's not ripping people off as much as many people like to make out.

For me, £6 a day is a small price to pay in exchange for the knowledge that my dying relative has something to take her mind away from what is going on around her.

Perhaps it isn't Patientline who should be taking such a good look at itself. Perhaps it's the relatives of these sick or dying people who make so much noise.

If you don't like the service, don't use it. It's an optional extra, not a right.

If you choose to use the service, fully aware of the cost involved, (as I make myself before purchasing anything, it makes sense!) don't complain about it afterwards. Nobody made you do it.

Peter Troy said...

If the comment made on the posting above - ''Perhaps it isn't Patientline who should be taking such a good look at itself. Perhaps it's the relatives of these sick or dying people who make so much noise'' - is as I suspect from a Patientline employee, both they and the company should be ashamed. Though it does add justification to the campaign to rid NHS Trusts of such an offensive commercial organisation.

Specifically I respond:

So two ten minute 'phone calls from a ward bedside for a total cost of £5.20 is reasonable ?

The fact that at any one time 5 per cent of Patientline's bedside units are in some way faulty is reasonable ?

Patientline staff briefed with high pressure scripts to sell pre-pay cards on wards is reasonable ?

The withdrawing of the over 65 reduced rate for TV viewing is reasonable ?

Patientline's pre-pay cards still at the old charging rate is reasonable ?

The removal of community TVs in ward bays by insensitive Patientline management is reasonable ?

Patientline's senior management hiding behind their lap top computers with an apparent aversion to talking to patients on wards is reasonable ?

Charlotte Brown's comment that Patientline is ''here to stay'' is reasonable ?

Sarah Hopperty said...

"It's an optional extra, not a right"

Interestingly Prisioners have free TV viewig as a right! Patients in NHS hospitals have to pay ? So it is free TV for the criminals not the sick - something for Gordon Brown to sort out!?

June said...

Very good point Sarah Hoppity re free TV for prison inmates!

Patientline employees have become criminals when they have been seen to remove TV,s from ward day rooms. These TV,s were often purchased from moneys donated by patients and relatives and in removing them employees are commiting theft.

Combine that with the dubious tactics employed by the company to promote sales the whole business leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

At the beginning the concept of individual TV,S and 'phones for each patient seemed like a good idea.
However the exploits of Patientline management including the ridiculous charges have turned the whole thing sour.