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New 'Phone First' Service for Northern Trust

Please find below information from the Northern Trust about the new 'Phone First' Service.

A new ‘Phone First’ service is being rolled out to cover Antrim Area Hospital Emergency Department and the Minor Injuries Unit in Mid Ulster Hospital, with effect from 10.00am on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

The ‘Phone First’ service, which has been operating for the past two weeks on a trial basis for the Causeway Hospital Emergency Department, aims to ensure that patients can get direct access to the right care, avoiding busy waiting rooms and staying safe.

The service is designed for patients, including children, who are feeling unwell and considering travelling to an ED or Minor Injuries Unit with an injury or illness which requires urgent treatment but is not immediately life threatening.

When you call the ‘Phone First’ service your condition, or that of the person you are calling on behalf of, will be clinically assessed and arrangements made for you to access the most appropriate service to your needs. This may mean offering you an appointment at the Emergency Department or Minor Injuries Unit, organising further investigations or redirecting you to your local GP or GP Out of Hours.

The Northern Trust ‘Phone First’ will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the following contact options:

The ‘Phone First’ number to ring is 0300 123 1 123

The ‘Phone First’ text relay number is 18001 0300 123 1 123 and it’s also available through the Interpreter Now App.

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.

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.

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