A new model of care has launched across the NHS in Devon to help patients get the right treatment in the right place, while ensuring our services and staff are protected during an already busy winter.
Think 111 First is a national model which encourages people to contact 111 either by phone or online, before attending an emergency department (ED) to make it easier and safer for patients to get the right advice or treatment when they urgently need it.
The programme was rolled out nationally on 1 December but has already been launched elsewhere in the country, including in Cornwall.
The approach, being rolled out across the country, will not only treat patients more quickly, but it will also reduce unnecessary visits to some of the region’s busiest healthcare facilities – taking pressure off local services and ensuring social distancing measures are applied.
Dr Dafydd Jones, Plymouth GP and clinical lead for urgent and emergency care at NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, explained: “Trained clinical professionals at 111 will advise people on the most appropriate healthcare service for their needs.
“The new system will help more people to benefit from early clinical assessment over the phone, or online and will support the NHS to manage the flow of patients when capacity in waiting rooms is much smaller than before, to maintain distancing and reduce the risk of infection.”
Arrangements have not changed for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Please continue to dial 999, as before.
To contact 111 – just call 111, or click: 111.nhs.uk