Night shift worker ‘fed up of wrong number calls’

Ruth Zwaan of Wyberton Low Road, Boston who keeps getting calls from people trying to contact the health visitor at Swineshead surgery.
Ruth Zwaan of Wyberton Low Road, Boston who keeps getting calls from people trying to contact the health visitor at Swineshead surgery.

An NHS phone line is causing a headache for a Boston night shift worker who keeps getting calls for the line by mistake.

Ruth Zwaan has been bombarded with calls for the Lincolnshire community health visitor since it was set up earlier this year, as her number differs by just one digit.

After months of complaining, she is growing increasingly frustrated.

“I cannot believe the sheer volume of calls. It’s so frustrating,” said Mrs Zwaan, who has an ex-directory number.

The night-worker, who catches up on her sleep in the morning and early afternoon, initially thought it was simply the case that a lot of people were misdialling her number, but eventually it came to light that a wrong number was being given out on one of the answerphone messages.

Mrs Zwaan, who informed the NHS of the mistake, said: “Somebody made a genuine mistake and used my number, but that was weeks ago and I rectified the problem.

“They must have had an influx of people telling them they are giving out the wrong number, but I am still getting calls. I really should be charging for secretarial skills, as I give out the number now.”

She added that if the problem continued she may change her number, even though she was loathed to do so.

Wendy Burton, from Lincolnshire Community Health Services, said: “Our central access point telephone number was created to make it easier for families in the Boston area to contact their health visiting team by having one number to dial rather than six. Unfortunately, since the number was launched, a number of people have called a similar telephone number, which belongs to a member of the public. We have checked all areas where this new number is displayed and all answering machines to ensure it is correct and added a message to ask those contacting the service to dial carefully.”