CAV 24/7 - FAQs

1. How will CAV24/7 work?

If a person identifies as having an urgent care need that does not require an emergency 999 response or cannot be managed by their own GP, they phone 0300 10 20 247. A call handler will take the call and make an initial assessment, they will get a call back from a clinician within 20 minutes if urgent or 1 hour if less urgent. If needed, they will be given an appointment within the Emergency Unit, an Urgent Care Centre, or other appropriate healthcare facility.

2. How long will I have to wait?

Our aim is to answer all calls within 60 seconds, the initial call will be answered by a trained call handler, and if appropriate we then aim for you to receive a call back from a clinician within 20 minutes for urgent cases and 60 minutes for less urgent cases.

3. What if I turn up at the Emergency Unit (EU)?

We are encouraging everybody to call first, and not just walk in to the Emergency Unit, unless it is an emergency. If you do turn up at EU, you will receive an initial assessment at the door. If it is safe for you to wait, you will be directed to call 0300 10 20 247 for an appointment at an appropriate time, if needed.

If you attend with an emergency, you will be admitted to the EU and treated appropriately.

4. What if I want to speak to my GP?

CAV24/7 does not replace your GP service and you should still contact your GP in the usual way to get an appointment.

5. What if I’m unhappy with the advice I’ve been given?

If you have an immediate concern, please speak to the staff dealing with you at the time. If they cannot resolve your issue, your details will be taken and processed through our concerns procedure and you will be contacted within 2 working days by one of the management team.

You can also access the UHB’s Concerns procedure at any time - Concerns, Complaints and Compliments, or you can raise your concerns with the South Glamorgan Community Health Council.

6. How can you ensure they have understood my needs accurately over the phone?

Our staff are trained and used to communicating with people over the telephone. This is how we operate our current Urgent Primary Care/Out of Hours service.

We also have access to additional technology that allows for talk-to-text communication and video consultations where appropriate.

7. How can they see my rash/burn?

Modern digital technology allows for the safe and secure sending of photographs and video consultations are an option.

8. What if I have to wait longer than one hour for a ring back?

The service has a robust escalation plan and, if the anticipated call back time is longer than usual, you will be informed of that at the time of your initial call. We will also comfort call any patients waiting a longer time than recommended, to ensure your safety and check that your condition has not changed.

9. What if I have been given the wrong advice?

If you have concerns with the advice you have been given, it is usually best resolved at the time of that advice.

If you have a concern, please contact - Concerns, Complaints and Compliments

10. What if I don’t think I need to go to EU, but my need is urgent and out of hours?

If you cannot wait until your GP practice reopens you will still need to call 0300 10 20 247 as this number also looks after the out of hours service. Your call will be handled by an experienced call handler who will direct you to the right service.

11. Will phoning first and waiting for a scheduled timeslot really be quicker than just walking in at EU?

We are encouraging everybody to call first, and not just walk in to the Emergency Unit unless it is an emergency. By phoning first, we aim for you to receive a call back from a clinician within 20 minutes for urgent cases and 60 minutes for less urgent calls.

By waiting for a call back, you’ll be in the comfort of your own home to protect your safety and the safety of our staff, complying with social distancing by not overcrowding the unit unnecessarily and saving your own time by not waiting around in the Emergency Unit.

12. How long is the average wait between your booked timeslot from the time you ring CAV 24/7?

You will receive a timeslot at EU if appropriate and the length of time you will wait for an appointment will depend on the nature of your clinical condition. You may be asked to wait longer for less urgent conditions however you will be able to wait in the comfort of your own home and attend at a specified time slot.

13. Can I still just turn up at the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Barry Hospital?

CAV 24/7 will also be in place for the Minor Injuries Service at Barry Hospital so you will need to phone first to access this.

The advantage of the phone first approach will be that we will be able to book people into the most appropriate minor injuries service, this may be in UHW or in Barry Hospital. Barry Hospital minor injuries unit will be open for the launch of the phone first model, however it will only be accessible for those who call ahead and are booked in. It will not provide a walk-in service anymore. This is particularly important as we do not have the same capacity to screen for Covid-19 for walk-ins at Barry as we do at UHW.

Initially Barry Hospital Minor Injuries Unit will operate Monday to Friday 8.30am – 3.30pm, but we will be looking to expand the service in line with the development of the wellbeing hub.

14. Can patients living in the Western Vale still access emergency services at the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend?

Citizens in the Western Vale will have the option to ring the service or alternatively they will still be able to access emergency services at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. We would encourage people to ring 0300 10 20 247 in order for us to help direct them to the best service to meet their need.

15. If a GP decides that I need to attend the Emergency Unit, can they make a referral or is it my responsibility to arrange this?

Processes will be in place for GPs to access the service and/or seek consultant advice and the CAV24/7 service will not change this process.

16. How will you evaluate whether the new service is working well and meeting patients’ needs?

We will be capturing learning from day one to allow us to continually review and improve the service. We will collect hard data including call answering times, how long people have to wait for a call back and data about services delivered. We will also ask people to rate their experience after the call handling and our Patient Experience Team will be capturing patient stories about their experience.

We would encourage people to provide feedback on their experience. We need to bring in this service quickly, to ensure that we continue to provide a safe service in the Emergency Unit for those who really need it. We know that it won’t be perfect from the start, but patient safety will be the priority.

17. Will you have enough call handlers to deal with all the phone calls that come in?

The model has included additional workforce for our existing Out of Hours service, including experienced call handlers and triage nurses and GPs. We have modelled our staffing requirement based on the busiest period in our urgent care services, however we will continually monitor call handling times to ensure we have sufficient capacity.

18. Will the call handlers have the necessary clinical knowledge to identify what help I need?

Call handlers receive robust training to enable them to make an initial assessment of an individual’s need in the same way 999 call handlers operate. The team are also overseen by professional clinicians to provide support.Clinical triage will only ever be undertaken by a clinical professional.

19. What is the difference between CAV 24/7 and 111?

CAV24/7 is the entry point for urgent care for citizens in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board region.

111 has not yet been rolled out for citizens in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. At present the only service offered by 111 to Cardiff and Vale Citizens is the Covid-19 Symptom checker.

20. How will you deal with people who just turn up at the Emergency Unit?

If a person walks up to the Emergency Unit, they will initially be screened for Covid-19 symptoms. Following this they will receive a rapid assessment for a clinician. If the assessment identifies an immediate need the individual will be provided with access to the Unit. If the need is not immediate the patient will be asked to call 0300 10 20 247 where they may be booked into the Unit at a later time, if appropriate.

21. How will vulnerable people who don’t have access to a phone, like homeless people, get urgent care?

We recognise that phoning first will not be possible for some vulnerable groups. This is not about putting up any barriers to people accessing our services and we are mindful of the need to support vulnerable people who turn up at our front door. We will have experienced clinicians available to ensure those people are routed to the right part of our service.

22.Will I be able to talk to someone in Welsh to use the Phone First service?

At present we do not have the ability to answer calls in Welsh

23. Is this a permanent arrangement?

This development is being taken forward as a pathfinder, with evaluation built into the approach so that there are key points to pause and learn what changes need to take place, listening to feedback from patients and key stakeholders.

24.Has this model been trialled elsewhere?

We are a pathfinder for Wales but there are a number of trials in England and similar models in Denmark.

25. If I am deaf or hard of hearing, how will I access urgent care?

The service is available via Textphone. A Textphone user simply dials 18001 followed by the 0300 10 20 247. Once the call is answered by a hearing person a Typetalk Operator will join the line to relay the call. The text user can type or speak their conversation to the hearing person, the hearing person will speak their part of the conversation and the Typetalk Operator will type exactly what is being said.

26. If I have difficulties communicating over the phone, how will I access urgent care?

The service is available via Textphone. A Textphone user simply dials 18001 followed by the 0300 10 20 247. Once the call is answered by a hearing person a Typetalk Operator will join the line to relay the call. The text user can type or speak their conversation to the hearing person, the hearing person will speak their part of the conversation and the Typetalk Operator will type exactly what is being said.

If you walk up to the Emergency Unit we have processes in place to support individuals who need extra support to communicate.

27. If English is my second language or I have limited English, how will I access urgent care?

We already have lots of experience in our Out of Hours service in dealing with those who find it hard to communicate in English. We have access to Language Line and there will be senior managers available to support calls where there are communication challenges.

28. Will the Welsh Ambulance Service be able to put a call straight through to CAV 24/7 if a patient needs urgent care rather than the ambulance service?

At present we can’t transfer calls directly from the Ambulance Service call handling service to CAV 24/7, this is partly because of a technical issue relating to how the systems interact. We are exploring ways to allow the systems to communicate. At present, individuals will be directed to call the service.

29. If I am living with cancer and I have an urgent care need, what service should I contact?

In the daytime, you should still use your usual primary care provision or contact your oncologist as usual. In the Out of Hours period 0300 10 20 247 will be the number for Out of Hours GP support.

30. If I am an unpaid carer, will I be able to phone on behalf of the person I care for?

We will always attempt to ask the consent of the patient if they are able, but we can take information from a carer where it is appropriate. We are already used to working with carers in similar situations in our Out of Hours service.

31. If I am a new student to the area, how will I know how to access healthcare?

We have a specific communications plan for the return of students in September and are working with the Universities and Student Unions to ensure clear and simple information on how to use the service is distributed. We also have a plan in place for supporting new students to register with GPs.

32. Will the service be accessible via Relay UK? 

This service supports BSL users, deaf persons and those with hearing and speech difficulties.  

Relay UK

You can contact CAV24/7 using Relay UK. Relay UK brings relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired people right up to date with the latest app technology.  You don't need any special kit – just download the app from the App Store or Google Play onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer. For more information visit the Relay UK website.

Using Relay UK

Relay UK relays conversations between people using a smart phone app (or textphone) and people who use voicephones. When you use Relay UK to call CAV24/7, a Relay UK assistant will speak your words to a CAV24/7 call handler and then convert their spoken words into text for you. If you use speech, the call handler can listen to what you have said, then reply. The Relay UK assistant will then convert what the call handler has said into text.

33. Is the CAV 24/7 number a freephone number? 

A 0300 number is treated like calling any other geographical landline number such as 02920 or 01446. It can be called at no extra charge on many phone tariffs which have inclusive calls to landlines. For more information, please visit the GOV.UK website

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