It is a national ambition to enhance the use of NHS 111 to help reduce the number of avoidable attendances in our Emergency Departments (EDs) and other urgent care settings. This is especially important at the current time, as we are seeing unprecedented demand and at the same time need to keep patients and staff safe through social distancing measures.
To support this, we are encouraging the public to use www.111.nhs.uk or download the NHS App. Both platforms take you through the same questions as the NHS 111 phone service and are sensitive enough to signpost people to phone 111 if their query cannot be dealt with online.
The launch of timeslots within urgent and emergency care services last year is helping to keep staff and patients safe in waiting rooms, while COVID-19 remains present in the community. Timeslots are now available at:
- Royal Stoke ED (through NHS 111 online and by ringing 111)
- Queen’s Hospital Burton (through NHS 111 online and by ringing 111)
- Sir Robert Peel Minor Injuries Unit (by ringing 111)
- County Hospital, Stafford ED (through NHS 111 online and by ringing 111)
- Samuel Johnson Walk-in Centre (by ringing 111)
- Haywood Hospital Walk-in Centre (by ringing 111).
NHS 111 triage kiosks
We are pleased to have been selected as an early adopter site for a new national initiative to launch digital triage clinics in a number of our EDs, walk-in centres (WICs) and minor injury units (MIUs).
This tool is based on the existing NHS 111 triage systems and has been tried and tested through pilots in Blackpool and Portsmouth. The NHS 111 triage service has helped to complete over 31 million patient assessments in the past 12 months.
A screening and validation process will take place using a digital kiosk with a touch screen. Like the NHS 111 online tool, service users will be asked to self-navigate through a series of intuitive health questions before being signposted to the most appropriate service for their needs. This could be their local pharmacy, dentist, GP, MIU, WIC, or, for those with the most serious needs, the ED. The service user may be offered a timeslot to reduce time spent waiting on-site.
We want to reassure people that this digital tool will not be used in isolation. The kiosks will be supported by our trained urgent care navigators, who will remain on hand to help and support users. The kiosks will be initially used for over-16s, and if successful, could be introduced for parents with children at a later stage.
If people have been booked a timeslot by NHS 111 into the ED, MIU or WIC, they will not have to complete the full 111 assessment at the kiosk and they will be directed through to the waiting area.
The first kiosk to be successfully installed was at County Hospital in Stafford earlier this month. Royal Stoke University Hospital and Haywood Hospital expected to follow over the coming weeks.
You can find 111 First campaign resources to share with your stakeholders and communities on the Together We’re Better website, including social media materials, large scale graphics and toolkits. These can be shared using your online platforms and within your physical settings.