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Patients may have to phone 111 from A&E waiting room in latest call-before-you-walk pilot area


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Patients turning up to A&E without pre-booking an appointment may not be seen, but rather asked to phone NHS 111 on the spot, in the latest area to assume a call-before-you-walk urgent care model.

Previously, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had stressed that patients who turn up at A&E without booking would still be seen under the controversial NHS 111 First model, although they may need to wait longer.

But a notice from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland CCGs said that ‘if people attend the emergency department at Leicester Royal Infirmary with a non-emergency condition and have not already contacted NHS 111, they could be asked to contact NHS 111 whilst on-site and be referred to another service’ such as a GP or pharmacist.  

‘The new move will prevent overcrowding and enable social distancing in waiting areas at the emergency department of the Leicester Royal Infirmary and other urgent care settings,’ it added.

The NHS 111 First model has been piloted in at least one hospital trust in each region since last month and is set to be rolled out to all trusts by December.

Debra Mitchell, acting chief operating officer at Leicester’s Hospitals, added that patients with a ‘genuine emergency’ should still call 999 and would access urgent care ‘without delay’.

And the area’s NHS 111 provider, DHU Health Care said it has ‘recruited extra staff to cope with the expected increase in calls to NHS 111’.

The news of the NHS 111 First pilots, revealed in July this year, came three years after Pulse exclusively reported that the Government and NHS England were in talks  about such plans.The Welsh Government is also planning to roll out a call-before-you-walk A&E model across the country, following pilots.

READERS' COMMENTS [5]

Hello My name is 2 November, 2020 8:51 pm

Beginning of the end… I hope we are all aware that this is going to sink general practice.

David Mummery 3 November, 2020 8:52 am

This 111 thing before going to A&E really is dangerous rubbish and totally mis- understands the nature of A&E and the total inadequacies if 111 and telephone triage. Trust me there will be ambulances called out for patients standing outside the A&E doors who can’t get in…

David Church 3 November, 2020 11:10 am

Sick misinterpretation by beurocrats.
The whole point is to prevent them mingling and transmitting infections: it’s too late once they are there, it is then more efficient for them to be seen and triaged in person, as it saves everybody’s time.

David jenkins 3 November, 2020 10:45 pm

no doubt the idiots who grafitti’d the health centre in bristol will be down the poundshop buying more paint to decorate their local hospital ………….

Patrufini Duffy 3 November, 2020 11:04 pm

Why not have the 111 call handler sitting in A&E? At least they can get blasted by the patient in person, and save us the argument.

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