A&E phone triage system trialled at health board

(Title Image: Wales Online)

Patients in the Cardiff & Vale health board are taking part in a trial to control patient flow through the University Hospital’s A&E department.

CAV 24/7 requires all but the very sickest patients to phone ahead to speak with clinical staff to determine if a visit to accident and emergency is required. Patients could then either be booked in for an A&E examination or redirected to a minor injuries unit or another healthcare professional.

999 calls remain unchanged.

The new system was introduced to reduce the number of patients in A&E in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, but is routinely used in Denmark and could eventually be rolled out as a routine practice.

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth), said: “People with life-threatening or serious conditions should continue to access services in the usual way but, with new physical distance measures in place, we need to better manage people with less severe conditions in their local communities or schedule urgent appointments to avoid over-crowding and queuing outside departments.”

The project’s clinical director, Dr Sherard Le Maitre, told BBC Wales: “This is something that’s going to be the future for emergency units, not only here for Cardiff and Vale but hopefully something we could look at for a wider roll out across Wales.”