The Shropdoc emergency out of hours number – which receives around 250,000 calls every year – is to change from October 13.
The move comes after regulation changes by OFCOM regarding the use of 08 numbers and the rise in cost of calls from landlines.
Shropshire Doctors Co-operative Ltd (Shropdoc) provides urgent medical services for patients in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Powys when their own surgery is closed and their needs cannot safely wait until the surgery is next open.
It operates during evenings, over weekends and bank holidays.
Shropdoc provides services to 600,000 patients in the region and the call centre deals with around 250,000 calls and in excess of 150,000 patients per year.
Shropdoc chief executive Ian Winstanley said: “Up to now the tariff we have used for the out of hours number is one pence per minute from BT landlines but with the new regulations the telephone providers could charge significantly more, up to 15 pence per minute on some networks. As a direct result our out of hours number will be changing.
“It is unacceptable that some of our patients would be forced to pay 15 pence per minute while making an essential phonecall to our advisors and doctors so we decided to take immediate action.
“The new telephone number is 0333 2226655 and will be live and operational from 6.30pm on Tuesday October 13.
“The old number will remain in use for the forseeable future to ensure that anyone ringing the old number will still be able to access the service and will receive any help they need.”
Call charges to 0333 numbers from any landline is dependent on the originators calling tariffs, but are generally charged at the same rate as a local call.
Calls from mobiles to 0333 numbers are generally included in originators call minutes package.