Following registration all patients are assessed by a qualified nurse or doctor . 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
- Urgent Treatment Centre: 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. We also have specialist nurses called advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) who are able to investigate and treat major illness and injury.
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.