Nationally the NHS is rolling out NHS111 First to encourage people who believe they need to use Accident and Emergency to contact 111 to see if their needs can be met by other health services more effectively.
People experiencing a life threatening emergency should still call 999 or come to straight to A+E.
In North Cumbria we will be adopting NHS 111 First on Tuesday November 24th. It will be a soft launch to support this new way of working to bed in.
111 will be supported by a Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) which is being provided by CHOC. They will support in identifying the most appropriate service for patients or try to resolve any calls they can.
The big difference will be that 111 will be able to book people timed slots in ED, if they need to be seen. This should help smooth peaks and troughs in activity to reduce the number of people waiting to be seen which increases the risk of covid transmission.
Patients may also be directed to appointments with CHOC, their own GP and pharmacy.