19 March 2021

Surgery swamped with 126,000 patient calls a day

19 March 2021

GPs have asked patients wanting to be vaccinated not to block phone lines after it emerged one surgery had 126,000 attempted coronavirus calls in a single day.

NHS bosses said one person alone was thought to have tried to get through to their local surgery on Teesside 300 times by using the re-dial function on their phone.

Managers have reminded the public they should not contact their GP practice to ask about Covid-19 vaccinations as extreme call volumes are preventing other patients with urgent needs from getting through.

Dr Janet Walker, medical director, NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The number of calls practices are getting from people inquiring about the vaccine is absolutely overwhelming, with one practice receiving over 126,000 calls in one day.

“We are asking people again: please, please do not phone your practice about vaccinations – responding to these calls is blocking phone lines and stopping the most vulnerable in our communities, who need urgent medical help, from getting through.”

Dr Walker said GPs do not control vaccine supply or arrange appointments via the National Booking System.

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