Should you attend A&E?
A&E (Emergency Department – ED) treats patients who, in the past 24 hours, have experienced a medical or surgical emergency or accident which results in serious injury.
Thousands of people attend the department unnecessarily and would have benefited by accessing other NHS services such as:
- NHS 111
- Your local GP
- Treatment Centre
To find your nearest services, visit: https://www.fyidirectory.co.uk/
- tickly coughs
- sore throat
- flu-like symptoms
- ear aches
Keep a first aid kit and a well-stocked medicine cabinet (always keep medicines out of the reach of children). A basic first aid kit should contain these items.
Professional Health Services
- Pharmacists – Visit your local Pharmacist when you are suffering from a common health problem that does not require being seen by a Nurse or Doctor. Your Pharmacist can give you confidential advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them
- Doctors – Call your GP surgery if you need medical advice, examinations or a prescription. Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness of injury that will not go away. In an emergency, a GP can also visit your home outside of normal opening hours – if you need this service, telephone your local surgery and follow the recorded instructions.
- Dentists – If your dental care needs are not urgent, please contact your local NHS Dentist for treatment. If you need advice or urgent dental treatment out of hours, including at weekends and on bank and public holidays, please call 111.
- Sexual Health Advisers – The Goodman Centre is open from Monday to Friday. Appointments are normally required except for rapid HIV testing, which is offered on a walk-in basis. Click here for information on how to book an appointment.
To find a Doctor or Dentist
- Visit a surgery of your choice and ask to be registered
- Visit the NHS Choices website
- Text ‘DOCTOR’ or ‘DENTIST’ to 64746
- For more information, help and support call NHS 111.
Make sure you receive the Right Treatment at the Right Time. If you are still unsure once you have considered these alternatives, you should attend A&E.
Accident and Emergency (Emergency Department – ED)
Please use carefully so it is there, without wait, for the most life-threatening and serious conditions.
When you arrive at A&E
When you arrive at A&E you will be seen at reception. You will be asked a series of questions to assess your condition and the most appropriate course of action. A Streaming Nurse will then advise the best Emergency Department for your condition.
Patients are always treated against health priority, not necessarily time of arrival. You may be asked to take a seat until you are called into the treatment room.
The A&E team knows who are waiting and will see you as soon as possible. They have access to your details. Always remember that someone with a more life threatening condition may be seen before yourself. Please be patient.
Our staff work hard to try and see patients as quickly as possible and we know that this can at times become frustrating, but, our staff are doing the best they can. Everyone has a duty to behave in an acceptable and appropriate manner and we do not expect our patients/visitors to become aggressive, offensive, intimidating, or disrespectful whilst on our premises. Any type of threatening behaviour will not be tolerated and reported to our Hospital Safety team.
Who will I see?
The A&E staff work as a highly co-ordinated expert team. Within the team, you may expect to meet:
- The Consultant (green)
- Senior House Officer (green)
- Clinical Nurse (maroon)
- Matron (black pinstripe)
- Senior Nurse (dark blue)
- Staff Nurse (light blue)
- Healthcare Assistant (white)
- Volunteers (orange top)
The A&E team always has a Consultant working and available in the department. This does not mean that you may see them on your visit.
What if I need diagnostic tests?
If maybe that to gain a full understanding of your condition, the Doctor may require you to undergo tests such as X-rays, blood tests or swabs. Quite often X-rays can be done during your stay at A&E. Although blood and swabs can be taken, the blood test results may not be obtained for a few hours and swabs may take 24 to 48 hours. A&E staff will discuss the situation with you and agree the best way forwards.
Will my GP know of my visit?
Yes. Your GP will have details of your visit should you need follow up medication or treatment.
What if my condition is difficult to diagnose?
If you present symptoms that need further investigation, you may be admitted for a longer stay. The staff will work with you to ensure the appropriate family arrangements are made.