PATIENTS in and around the Winsford, Middlewich and Northwich areas are being advised that calls to their local GP have been diverted to NHS 111 in response to a BT-related issue.
Due to a problem at the local BT Exchange, calls being made to 01606 numbers are not being connected and patients are not able to contact their GP surgery.
NHS England has arranged for all calls to GP practices with a 01606 telephone number to be diverted to NHS 111 instead until the fault is resolved.
NHS 111 have implemented their escalation plans to manage the increased level of calls.
Patients are being asked not to contact their GP practice for routine or non-urgent matters today, Thursday, June 19, to enable the practices to manage the situation.
Tina Long, director of nursing for NHS England, said: “If patients have a medical need which cannot wait until tomorrow or next week we would advise them to attend their practice in person.
“If that is not appropriate, we would encourage them to call NHS 111 for fast, confidential advice on the most appropriate service.
“As well as ensuring their condition is dealt with quickly and effectively, this will free up busy A&E services for the patients who need them most.”
The NHS said all local services and partner agencies have been made aware of the issue, and are implementing plans to manage the situation and any increase in demand for services.