Residents in Warrington and Halton who are in need of urgent – but not emergency care – are now being asked to contact NHS 111 first before travelling to hospital.

Under this initiative, patients will be able to get expert health advice and clinical assessment and depending on the individual needs of patients, NHS 111 can book time slots for patients at GP surgeries, NHS Runcorn Urgent Care Centre, NHS Widnes Urgent Care Centre and the emergency department at Warrington Hospital.

This new way of working will support patients to stay as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic by managing the number of patients attending services at any one time. It will also ensure patients get the right care, in the right place by signposting to other services and sources of advice and ensuring that patients get the most appropriate care.

Patients with a booked face-to-face time slot will benefit from reduced waiting times and NHS services can help maintain social distancing guidelines in waiting areas further reducing the risk of infection.

Residents who are registered with a local GP practice can continue to contact their surgery online or via phone as usual.

Anyone with a life-threatening emergency should call 999 immediately.

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