The Department of Health is now recommending use of 030 non-geographic numbers instead of 0845 numbers. We can provide these numbers with any of our telephony services. We offer lower call costs, greater flexibility, and all routed calls are automatically recorded.
Non-geographic numbers offer organisations the benefit of a permanent number that is independent of geographical location and therefore survives organisational change. Non-geographic numbers also offer more flexibility with call routing and handling.
However, traditional non-geographic numbers such as '084' and '087' incur a higher or unclear call charge for consumers than normal geographic numbers and this has led to consumer calls for the cessation of their use, particularly within the public sector.
In 2005 the Department of Health began discussions with Ofcom on this subject with the result that Ofcom decided to create a new country-wide number range - '03' - which would be charged to the consumer at the same rate as calling a geographical number and could be included in any inclusive or low-cost call packages offered by landline or mobile phone companies.
More specifically the '0300' number range has been reserved for the public sector, including organisations with a .gov.uk or .nhs.uk website, and not-for profit organisations such as registered charities.
In December 2006, Lord Warner wrote a letter advising PCT Chief Executives of this new '03' number range and recommending that "patients should not have to pay over the odds to contact their local services. Normally this will mean the lowest cost per call to the patient, - a local geographic number or an '03' number."
OPEX can provide 0300 numbers to qualifying organisations who will incur no additional charges for receiving incoming 0300 calls. OPEX normal call routing and recording charges apply to those calls routed and recorded through our platform.
The OPEX hosted service provides total flexibility with geographic and time of day call routing, IVR, ACD and rota routing, enabling an organisation to adopt, optimise and promote a Single Access Number for all services.