A GP practice baffled by patients not answering calls made by the surgery thinks it has found the answer.
Gloucester’s Aspen Medical Practice said an error with its phone system meant some mobiles showed its calls as coming from a Rochdale massage parlour.
It said as well as causing “periodic embarrassment”, this explained why some calls had gone unanswered by patients.
It is believed some mobile phones are using an out-of-date database to match phone numbers to businesses.
The practice said the issue started when it switched phone systems a couple of years ago so had assumed that was to blame.
It said that while it could see the funny side, the delays “cost us time which is not welcome at a time of considerable demand pressure”.
Kate Bevan, from consumer group Which?, said although a quirk with the phone system appeared to be the problem, “it would be worrying if people were missing important appointments”.
“People are rightly wary of calls popping up with the names of businesses they haven’t heard of.
“If you receive a call from a suspicious caller ID, it’s best to hang up.
“If you’re waiting to hear about something important such as a doctor’s appointment, it’s best to contact them yourself using their legitimate phone number,” she added.
The issue predictably led to mirth on social media.
Lecturer and researcher Tony Robertson said he was waiting for a call from the sauna and asked whether if it would show on his phone as Aspen Medical Practice.
And Steve Kell suggested the error could get some spouses in trouble.