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Think 111 First: Rollout across BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire as part of national programme
NHS organisations and partners across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire are working to implement the new national Think 111 First programme.
Wiltshire Health and Care introduced this programme to the local community earlier this year, when Minor Injury Units (MIU) in Chippenham and Trowbridge re-opened on a booked appointment only basis.
Contact NHS 111 First
To keep patients who are thinking about attending an Emergency Department or MIU safe and allow them to maintain social distancing, they will be asked to contact NHS 111 first, either by phone or online. They will then be booked into the right service to meet their needs and this will include timed appointment slots in Emergency Departments or MIUs, where appropriate.
Think 111 First will ensure that patients who need urgent help can access the clinical service they need, first time, both in and outside of hospital. If someone needs 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. Advising people where and when to attend, will hopefully control queues in waiting rooms and lower the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
All patients who need a blue light response will still receive one and no patient will be turned away if they self-present to an emergency department without first calling NHS 111.
Patients with life-threatening emergencies should continue to call 999.
This approach is being developed by hospital consultants, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, mental health specialists, Medvivo and GPs in the region, using local knowledge and expertise.
More health professionals are being employed to ensure the 111 service can respond to the expected increase in demand.