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Urgent and Emergency Care

Urgent and Emergency Care

Phone First

Phone First is a new service which is being trialled across a number of Emergency Departments (ED) in Northern Ireland.

The Phone First service is about improving patient safety and reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission by reducing overcrowding and long waits in Emergency Departments.

The Phone First service is designed for patients who are feeling unwell and considering travelling to an ED with an injury or illness which requires urgent treatment but is not immediately life threatening.

It is important to note that Emergency Departments will always be a safe place for patients, and if they attend an ED without ringing first, they will not be turned away.  If their condition is not life threatening, they may have to wait longer or be signposted to another service.

For all emergencies that are life threatening always call 999 immediately. This can include: Stroke, heart attack, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding or major trauma.

For more information, please see Frequently Asked Questions

Northern HSC Trust Area

This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone First Telephone: 0300 123 1 123

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing the Interpreter Now app or the Phone First text relay number 18001 0300 123 1 123

Southern HSC Trust Area

This service will operate 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday.

Phone First Telephone: 0300 123 3 111

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing the Interpreter Now app or the Phone First text relay number 18001 0300 123 3 111

 

Background

On 16th October 2020, the Department of Health published its COVID-19 Urgent and Emergency Care Action Plan ‘No More Silos’.   You can view the plan in detail.

The ‘No More Silos’ Action Plan sets out 10 key actions to ensure that urgent and emergency care services across primary and secondary care can be maintained and improved in an environment that is safe for patients and for staff, both now and into the future.

‘Phone First’ is one of 10 recommendations as a result of this review.

DoH Press Release – 11 November 2020 – New ‘Phone First’ service for Emergency Departments