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Keeping patients and NHS staff safe – just Think NHS 111 First Posted on 7 Dec 2020

The NHS has introduced a new system for people needing urgent medical care when it is not a “life or limb threatening” 999 emergency. If you have an urgent medical problem or you’re not sure what to do, just call NHS 111 first and they’ll make sure you get to the best place for you to be seen safely and quickly.

In mid and south Essex our NHS 111 team has access to clinical experts and if you need to visit the emergency department (A&E) they can book you a time slot when you should attend. They’ll also let the hospital know when you’re coming. This means you could avoid a lengthy wait in the waiting room and be seen more quickly.

Calling NHS 111 first could mean some people do not need to visit A&E at all.

Their needs could be met by visiting a pharmacy or arranging an appointment at their GP practice. The NHS 111 team will advise on the right thing to do.

And if you’ve arrived at the emergency department without contacting NHS 111 first, you will still be seen, but may have to wait longer unless you need immediate care.

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