A new national model for unscheduled care to help keep patients safe, avoid unnecessary hospital visits, and ensure people receive the right type of care as quickly as possible, has been rolled out across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).
The ‘Right Care Right Place’ model means patients who would normally attend A&E for an urgent but non-life-threatening condition should now instead call NHS24 on 111 for a telephone assessment and referral to the most appropriate service suited to their needs.
Patients are also reminded to continue using their local GPs for advice.
For the new model to work, NHSGGC has developed a special ‘flow navigation hub’. This offers patients rapid access – where appropriate – to senior clinical decision-makers through NHS24 who can provide consultations and have the ability to advise self-care or signpost patients to the most appropriate available local services. This could include mental health hubs, Minor Injury Units, Primary Care (in and out of hours), A&E, as well as existing COVID-19 pathways.
For life-threatening emergencies, patients should still dial 999 or go directly to A&E.
It is hoped the new 111 approach will ensure people are directed to the most appropriate type of care they require as soon as they engage with the health service, while also minimising the number of people unnecessarily presenting at hospital.
Dr Scott Davidson, Deputy Medical Director for Acute Services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said:
“Instead of presenting to A&E services, calling 111 or phoning your local GP should be the first port of call for anyone with an urgent, but non-life threatening condition.
“Our new flow hubs work in close partnership with NHS24 to ensure patients engage with exactly the right service for their condition as quickly as possible.
“If it’s urgent, but non-life threatening, you are far more likely to receive the right type of care, faster, by going through these routes, than by presenting to A&E services.
“The Right Care Right Place model will underpin all unscheduled care across Scotland moving forward. We are keen for the public to embrace the new model as it will ensure our doctors and nurses can continue looking after priority COVID and non-COVID patients, and that A&E services are safeguarded for those with life-threatening illnesses.
Lorna Kelly, Interim Director for Primary Care for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added:
“The new NHS24 pathway will play a crucial role alongside that of local GPs in giving patients efficient and accurate advice, and by providing direct referrals onto the most appropriate health service for them, which may not always be A&E.”
Patients should also continue to use the NHS Inform website for online health advice.
More information on the Redesign of Urgent Care Programme is available online.
Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should not attend an ED and must adhere to public health advice. They should contact the NHS to arrange to be tested – either online at NHSInform.scot, or by calling 0800 028 2816.