Phone First Service to operate Monday – Friday / 8am – 6pm

From Friday 1 July the Phone First service will be available from 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday, following a stakeholder review which indicated that the majority of calls fell within that timeframe.

Phone First was established in December 2020 to encourage anyone considering attending an emergency department to call beforehand.  Their condition is then clinically assessed and arrangements made for them to access the most appropriate service to their needs.

The Phone First initiative is part of No More Silos which was established by Health Minister, Robin Swann, in October 2020 to maintain and improve urgent and emergency care services.

Dr Mark Jenkins, an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Antrim Area Hospital, explained: “Health and social care funding is finite so the team looked to see what aspects of the work were having the most impact so we could concentrate our resource and ensure the biggest improvement for patients.  We’ve learnt a great deal over the last two years working with our stakeholders and we are now going to focus on a refined Phone First service being able to access the right service, first time.”

Phone First is only available for anyone considering attending Antrim Area or Causeway Hospital Emergency Departments and the Mid Ulster Minor Injury Unit in Magherafelt.

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 Sign Video.

Anyone requiring urgent or emergency care outside of the hours of operation should attend their Emergency Department.

More information is available in the Phone First Frequently Asked Questions.

28th June 2022

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