Following registration all patients are assessed by a qualified nurse. This assessment determines how urgent it is for the patient to be seen and is based upon the information given as well as a clinical assessment.
Following the assessment, we direct the patient to the most appropriate area of the department in order to commence treatment such as:
- Resuscitation: trauma, chest pain, stroke, unconscious patients
- Major illness/injury: abdominal pain, overdose, acute respiratory problems
- Minor illness/injury: fractures, lacerations, ENT problems
- Paediatric area: any children’s illness and injury that does not require treatment within the resuscitation area.
A&E has a 24-hour Mental Health Liaison Team consisting of psychiatrists and senior mental health liaison nurses. We have dedicated cubicles for patients presenting with mental health problems.
In A&E we have medical staff and specialist nurses called emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) who are able to examine patients, investigate and treat a wide variety of minor injuries and illnesses. Many patients may have blood tests and x-rays carried out prior to seeing a doctor or ENP, initiated by the A&E nursing staff. These tests are dependent on the nature of the presenting complaint.
Waiting times to be seen vary and will depend upon the severity of illness/injury and the number of patients within A&E at any one time. Patients are prioritised according to need, with the most serious illnesses or injury being seen first.
Priority is also given to children and the elderly. In A&E we aim to assess, treat, admit or discharge all patients within four hours.