Where do I stand? Legal implications of telephone triage



  • The introduction of telephone triage in many accident and emergency (A&E) departments is seen as a way to give clients information immediately on demand, to assess and prioritize the need for treatment and to direct the client to the most appropriate service available.
  • This article aims to examine the medico-legal aspects of telephone triage and the nurse's responsibility to the caller and themselves.
  • It will involve looking at triage as a nursing function and how the nurse may minimize the threat of liability by beginning to understand the legal implications of giving advice by telephone.
  • The article will also discuss the use of detailed documentation and communication skills and will aim to show how important these are in the protection of nurses in a court of law.