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Patients needing a face to face appointment with a health professional are being asked to call NHS 111 first, who will help direct people to the most appropriate service for treatment.
NHS 111 is staffed by a team of trained professionals and clinicians who will provide instant over the phone triage, and can offer pre-booked face to face appointment slots at an NHS Walk-in Centre, an out of hours GP practice, or a local hospital A&E department if required.
This system is in place to help ensure patients get the care they need as quickly and easily as possible, and will also safely socially distanced while they wait to be seen.
However, people should still dial 999 as normal in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously injured, their life is at risk, or they could be having a heart attack or stroke – every second counts with these conditions.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that plans health services for the city, said:
“We know that sometimes patients can feel unsure about where to go for help if they become unwell over a bank holiday weekend, but we’re keen to let people know that they can still get a face to face appointment with a GP when they need one – even over the bank holiday weekend.
“The advice is really simple – call NHS 111 if you need any kind of medical treatment over the weekend. They can offer lots of helpful advice, and will also be able to book you an urgent, face to face appointment with a GP, a Walk-in Centre or at an A&E department if you need one too.”
“We also want to urge people not to just turn at one of our hospital A&E departments without an appointment, unless it really is a life-threatening emergency as they get extremely busy over bank holidays. Instead call NHS 111 first, as this really is the best way to get seen quickly and to get the help that you need.”
Dr Anne Kerr, Lead Paediatric Consultant at the Emergency Department at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Our A&E department is under a lot of pressure at the moment with a high volume of patients, so please think before coming to our emergency department.
“We are asking everyone to use the NHS 111 service – either by calling 111 or going to www.nhs.uk/111 – and they will be able to direct you to the right service in order to get you treated as quickly as possible.”
People are also reminded that they can access an appointment at a local NHS Walk-in Centre which continue to operate daily between 8am–8pm, by calling 0300 100 1004 to arrange an appointment directly.Some local pharmacies will also continue to be open over the bank holidays, but some will operate with reduced hours. Please click here to view a list of opening times for pharmacies in Liverpool.
BSL users can use the NHS 111 video interpreter service by going to www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.
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