Local people urged to Think 111 First

Posted: November 30, 2020

Call 111 first if you have an urgent medical problem

From 1 December, we will be joining other NHS Trusts and healthcare providers in implementing the national 'Think 111 First' programme.

The new programme asks people in need of urgent health care to contact NHS 111, either online or by phone, before travelling to hospital for urgent and emergency care.

So if you have an urgent medical problem, and you are thinking about going to our Urgent Care Centre or Emergency Department, please contact NHS 111 first.

Experienced 111 clinicians will assess your needs over the phone and direct you to the most appropriate local service, potentially avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital.

If you are assessed and the clinician decides that the right service for you is our Urgent Care Centre, then NHS 111 may be able book a timed arrival slot for you.

This means that you will be given a time to arrive at the Urgent Care Centre, and you can stay at home until then. This will allow us to help keep you safe by ensuring social distancing and reducing crowding within our waiting areas and lower the risk of coronavirus spreading. 

Please note that a timed arrival slot is not the same as an appointment, and you may still need to wait to be seen. We treat patients in order of clinical need, so if you are having to wait what seems like a long time, this is because we are treating patients with more critical or life threatening conditions.

People with very serious or life-threatening health conditions, such as chest pain, severe bleeding or loss of consciousness, should still continue to phone 999 without delay. Those who arrive at our urgent and emergency services without having first contacted NHS 111, will not be turned away, but may be asked to wait or be signposted to a more appropriate local healthcare service.

By contacting NHS 111 first, we can be sure that you get the right treatment in the right place, first time and as close to home as possible.

This is a new way of working and as we are only in the early stages of adopting the programme, your help and support in sharing this message with your families and friends will be really helpful for us as a Trust and the wider region.

Finally, we ask that patients and visitors continue to follow the social distancing measures we've put in place in our waiting areas and wear a face covering or mask when they enter hospital to keep themselves and others safe.

Further information

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   

To get help from NHS 111, you can:  

  • visit 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only). 
  • call 111 for free from a landline or mobile phone (all ages).

If you have any questions, please refer to our Think 111 First FAQ page

Translate this page: