This text from a GP is real

15 March 2021
What was claimed

A text message claiming to come from a GP practice warning about high local Covid-19 levels is false and a scam.

Our verdict

The GP practice has confirmed that it did send the text message and it is not a hoax.

A text message claiming to be public health advice from a GP surgery has been causing concern on Facebook. 

The text message from Blyth Road Medical Surgery in Maltby, South Yorkshire, reads: “Covid-19 cases are rising in Maltby. If you have symptoms get tested ASAP. Stay safe by following the restrictions”.

Some users were concerned that this may be a hoax or part of a fraud, with one claiming that the surgery had told them it was not behind the text message. However, Blyth Road Medical Centre has confirmed that it sent the message, saying on Facebook:

“Public health has asked that we send our patients a text message to update them that the Covid cases in Maltby are rising. This is for information only and to make patients aware of the fact. 

“It is not a scam, this information is TRUE.  

“The reason they’ve asked us to circulate this information is to emphasise the importance of keeping safe and to make sure you get tested if you have ANY Covid symptoms.”

The communications team at NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and Rotherham Integrated Care Partnership told Full Fact that GP practices based in Maltby were asked to send the message to patients on behalf of the public health team at Rotherham council. They explained that: 

“Unfortunately, some of our practices don’t have an identifier in the ‘from’ box, therefore [the text] appears from a number [rather than from a named surgery]. However, this should be the same number that patients regularly receive texts from their GP practice on.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because the information in the pictured text message is true but the claim that the text message is a hoax is false

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