The Health Service Journal (HSJ) has reported that at least one Trust in every health system will ask patients to call 111 before turning up at A&E.
Success of the trial will depend on 111 referring patients to a range of services. However, HSJ said:
“The move comes amid concerns from trust managers who warned some 111 providers’ systems were too ‘risk averse’ and were sending too many patients who could have been treated in other care settings to hospitals.
“Local managers believe NHS 111 not directing enough people to alternative services was a cause of a critical incident at Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust’s emergency services earlier this month, HSJ understands.”
Although different approaches have been used, 111-first could essentially result in A&E patients booking a slot for their visit, a major change from the current system. Ambulance admissions would of course be unaffected.
Read the full HSJ story for more information.