Why is my GP practice unavailable?

Dr Ben Brown
Dr Ben Brown
  • Updated

GP practices sometimes limit the number of Patchs requests they receive. They may do this because:

  • They are closed. For example, you are trying to contact them outside of their normal working hours or if it's a bank holiday.
  • All the Patchs slots for that day have been filled.
  • There are staff shortages, for example due to sickness or holidays.
  • They have been particularly busy, for example they are dealing with medical emergencies.

What should I do if I see this message?

Your GP practice will be available again for Patchs requests when they are next open. So, if you can wait until then, please use try again later.

  • If you need help today and your practice is open, please telephone them for help.
  • If you need help today and your practice is closed, please telephone 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.

Examples of things you may need help with today include: 

  • Feeling suicidal, or wanting to harm yourself or others.
  • Infections that may need antibiotics.
  • Worsening of asthma.
  • Many other things not listed here.

If you have a medical emergency you should not contact your practice and should instead call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.

Here are some examples of medical emergencies.

What should I not do if I see this message?

If your practice is still available for medication or admin requests, do not use this option to ask for help with a health problem. This is because requests are automatically prioritised according to which option you choose, and if you use the wrong category, your request may not be seen in time for staff to help you.


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