The use of 084 phone numbers by doctors surgeries could be banned by the NHS.

And a parish council is urging people to have their say in a public consultation.

Last year Kelvedon Parish Council raised concerns Kelvedon Surgery, in High Street, was using an 084 number instead of the local code 01376.

The Department of Health (DoH) has launched a public consultation on the issue and the parish council in Kelvedon wants to remind residents to have their say.

Councillor Graham Dossett said the parish council has campaigned about the issue and is pleased the consultation is up and running.

He said: “The council would encourage people to take a few minutes to look at the stuff the DoH has published and take less than a minute to tick the boxes and have their say.”

There is also information about the issue in February’s Feering Parish Magazine.

Barbara Lord, practice manager at Kelvedon Surgery, said she shall be writing on behalf on the surgery to explain that the number ensures a better service at an “absolute minimal” extra cost.

She said: “The whole reason we took the system on was to improve service and we’ve found we can take more calls and give a quicker response.

“We also pay a lot of money to hire the system, about £750 a quarter, and a fee for the phone line.”

The consultation information, available at, says “...patients who use 084 numbers are paying more than the equivalent cost of a local rate call to access services provided by the NHS” and the DoH doesn’t expect the situation to continue.

The consultation closes on March 31.