Phone crisis at hospital

IPSWICH Hospital could face a return to its former telephone and television services as news emerged today that the firm Patientline is in crisis.Patientline currently provides bedside services to patients, but after announcing an £80million debt in April the firm is reported to be seeking survival talks with its bankers.

IPSWICH Hospital could face a return to its former telephone and television services as news emerged today that the firm Patientline is in crisis.

Patientline currently provides bedside services to patients, but after announcing an £80million debt in April the firm is reported to be seeking survival talks with its bankers.

Ipswich Hospital, which is still in negotiations with Patientline after it announced a 160per cent increase for phone call charges in April, today said it was prepared to go back to its less advanced service.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “Before the introduction of Patientline services we didn't have bedside consoles as we didn't have the money to invest, but we did have televisions in every bay which were kindly donated.


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“If there was anything to the contrary with Patientline, our contingency plan would be to do as before, with televisions in every bay.

“The service we used to provide with phones was to have mobile payphones on the wards and that is what we would go back to.

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“We are also currently looking at our mobile phone policy, and extending the areas where people can use their mobiles.

“We have not been advised the Patientline service is in danger of collapse.

“We are in negotiations about the increased charges as they are of great concern to us but we have a very positive relationship with Patientline locally.”

In April, Patientline announced it was increasing call charges from 10p to 26p.

It announced reduced television and internet charges in an attempt to compensate.

Today the company said it was in talks with its bank and will continue to be so while it remains in debt.

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