Practice answerphone messages – action to update

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To encourage the public to seek the care and treatment they need, practices are asked to update their answerphones with the message below. 

Feedback from practices has told us that people are not using general practice and other NHS services as usual. With four in ten people too concerned about being a burden on the NHS to seek help from their GP, there is a concern that people are risking their long-term health, and their lives, by delaying getting the help they need. 

Practices are asked to use the template below to update their answerphone message, reflecting any arrangements specific to your practice as required. 

Template answerphone message

Thank you for calling [NAME] practice, we are currently open for business. 

If your problem is urgent, please don’t delay. Seeking medical help is one of the reasons that you can safely leave your home, in line with government guidance. 

To ensure your safety, please contact us before visiting the practice. If we need to see you, measures are in place to allow you to access our practice safely. 

To request help, please contact us on: [TELEPHONE], [EMAIL], [WEBSITE FORM].


To help support the national public information campaign, in the coming weeks we will be providing practices with template text messages to encourage people to use general practice and other vital NHS services.

Expiry date: Aug 31st, 2020