North Mid early adopter for new NHS 111 First initiative
We are working together across north central London (NCL) to transform Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC), making it easier and safer for patients to get the right treatment at the right time and preventing a return to previous overcrowding in emergency departments. This is especially important in light of Covid-19 and the continuing risk of infection to patients and hospital staff.
The NHS 111 First programme is being trialled in five hospitals across London, with North Middlesex University Hospital being one of these ‘proof of concept’ sites. The NHS 111 First initiative focuses on patients being referred to the most appropriate urgent or emergency service for their needs, and helping patients avoid waiting in busy Emergency Departments.
To support this initiative and any increased pressure as we go into the winter period, NHS 111 capacity has been expanded. This means more doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, dental nurses and trained health advisors are available to respond to our patients’ health needs.
Using a clinical assessment tool (NHS Pathways) designed by leading doctors, trained NHS 111 health advisors give advice based on a patient’s health needs, refer them to the most appropriate care, or send an ambulance in case of an emergency.
The health advisors are supported by clinicians who can take over whenever required.
In NCL, NHS 111 is already able to book appointments for patients at the majority of GP surgeries and urgent treatment centres and this is being expanded to include emergency departments, with North Middlesex University Hospital being the first hospital to use the new system.
This service will expand to more sites in two waves, with Barnet Hospital and Royal Free Hospital following during October and hospitals across the whole of NCL by the end of November.
Arrangements will not change for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries, who should continue to dial 999 as before.