The Coventry & Warwickshire health and care system has today implemented the new national NHS 111 system for accessing urgent and emergency care.

It will help us cope with winter pressures and keep patients and staff safe whilst Covid-19 remains in circulation.

How does it work?

Rather than attending hospital Emergency Departments unannounced, the public are strongly encouraged to contact 111 if they have an urgent – but not serious or life-threatening – medical need.

They will be given a time slot at their nearest hospital Emergency Department or, if it is more appropriate to their need, they will be redirected to a range of other services such as ambulatory care, their local GP, dentist, urgent treatment centre, or pharmacy. This will apply both to Coventry & Warwickshire residents as well as anyone visiting the area.

These pre-booked time slots will help manage the volume of people in Emergency Department waiting rooms and minimise Covid-19 infection risks.

People arriving at Emergency Departments without an allocated time slot may experience longer waits, unless they need immediate treatment.

Why the change?

The new NHS 111 system is designed to:

Reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission

Protect Emergency Departments for those who need urgent care

Signpost and support the public so they receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

What if it’s serious or life-threatening?

The 999 service is not changing.

People with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries are advised to continue to dial 999 as before.

Important: No-one attending Emergency Departments unannounced will be turned away without some form of treatment, advice or redirection to an alternative NHS service.

Please help us implement these important new changes as smoothly as possible by explaining them to your friends and families – and by encouraging them to watch out for the launch of a public information campaign coming soon.