Cardiff and Vale introduce new ‘Phone First’ round the clock access to urgent care- CAV24/7


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is introducing a new and innovative approach to how patients access urgent care, the main message being: from today, Wednesday 5 August 2020, you will need to phone first if you think you need to attend the Emergency Unit and do not have a life-threatening emergency.


Traditionally, patients have been able to access the emergency department by walking into their local Emergency Unit (EU) or A&E. The ‘phone first’ system replaces this for non- emergencies with patients being encouraged to phone ahead and, if required, they will get a booked appointment – saving precious time.


During the Coronavirus global pandemic, Health Boards had no choice but to review the way in which they were providing services. As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a number of innovative digital solutions being used to enable patients to receive a consultation remotely. The vast majority have resulted in more convenience for the service user.


The success of these new ways of working together with the absolute requirement to keep people safe through social distancing , has led to GPs and hospital clinicians across Cardiff and Vale University Health Board setting up the phone first model ‘CAV 24/7’.


This will be a round the clock service where doctors and nurses will assess your needs and direct you to a service which best meets them, all while you wait at home.


How will CAV 24/7 work?

Instead of going straight to the Emergency Unit (EU), people will be asked to phone a dedicated telephone number, 0300 10 20 247. This will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This does not replace 999 calls; if people have an emergency that is life-threatening, they should still call 999.


Calls to CAV 24/7 will be taken by a call handler who will take the details and make an initial assessment. A clinician will ring the caller back within 20 minutes if it is classed as urgent, or within an hour if it is less urgent. The caller will then be referred to the most appropriate service; the right place, first time. If that is the Emergency Unit or Minor Injuries services, an appointment will be made for them to attend within a particular timeslot. The CAV 24/7 number will also replace the current GP Out of Hours numbers for both Cardiff and the Vale; the call handler will take the call and follow the same process as they do now for the Out of Hours service – this will not change.


In summary

If you are a patient across Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, there are three main ways in which you can directly access healthcare. This does not replace access for those patients given direct access numbers as they are already in the health system and receiving treatment or advice such as community services but relates to new health issues that need to be explored.


  1. Contact your local GP
  2. Urgent issues or Out of Hours – “Phone First” – call CAV 24/7 on 0300 10 20 247
  3. If it’s an emergency dial 999

You can find more information on the dedicated webpage  which also has a frequently asked questions and answers.