Think 111 First

The national Think 111 First 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.

Frequently asked questions

How and when can I access NHS 111? 

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

To get help from NHS 111, you can: 

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

What is Think 111 First?  

Think 111 First is a national programme which asks people to contact 111 first if they are thinking about going to the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) or Emergency Department (ED) for an urgent, but not serious or life-threatening, health problem.

Experienced 111 clinicians will assess your needs over the phone and direct you to the most appropriate local service.

This could be your GP, pharmacist, the Urgent Care Centre or the Emergency Department (ED).

If the right service for you is our Urgent Care Centre, the 111 service may be able to book a timed arrival slot for you.

What is a timed arrival slot - does this mean that I won't have to wait to be seen?

If there are arrival slots available, NHS 111 will give you a time to arrive at our Urgent Care Centre, and you can stay at home until then.

Please note that a timed arrival slot is not an appointment and you may still need to wait.

We see patients in order of clinical need.

So if you are waiting a long time after your initial assessment, this is because there are others with more critical or life-threatening conditions.

This initiative will allow for social distancing and reduce crowding within the department to lower the risk of COVID-19.

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

What if I turn up to the Emergency Department without calling 111 first?

If you visit our Emergency Department without having called NHS 111 first, you will still be seen.

However, patients with more critical or life-threatening conditions will be prioritised and those whose conditions are not as urgent may need to wait or will be directed to another service for treatment. 

Calling 111 first will ensure that you get quicker, safer care in the right environment and will help us to better control the risk of COVID-19, so please consider calling 111 first, the next time you have an urgent medical problem.

What happens if I don't show up for my timed arrival slot? Will someone check that I'm ok?

If we are expecting to see you and you do not arrive, there will be systems in place to assess whether a follow up is necessary.

If you no longer need to visit us, please call NHS 111 to let us know so your arrival slot can be given to someone else.

What if my condition changes while I'm waiting at home?

If you become seriously ill, please call 999, otherwise call NHS 111 again to talk about what you are feeling.

What are the benefits of calling 111 first?

  • You will be able to speak to a senior medical professional earlier and get the right treatment, first time.
  • If you are assessed as needing an urgent face-to-face assessment or treatment, this can be arranged immediately, without any further delay - leading to shorter waiting times for all patients.
  • By advising people where and when to go, we can control queues in our Emergency Department waiting rooms and lower the risk of COVID-19.

 

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