What to expect in the Emergency Department 

We aim to see all our patients as quickly and as safely as possible when they visit the Emergency Department. We are a busy Department that regularly sees over 400 patients in a 24 hour period though because of our size and layout you may be waiting in an area with only a few other patients making the department appear quiet, however patients are often being treated in other areas. Please remember that everyone is assessed on clinical need so people will not always been seen in the order that they arrive.

Registration

You will be booked into the department by one of the Emergency Department reception staff who will ask you for a number of details including your personal information, GP details and your presenting complaint or condition.

Initial assessment 

An experienced nurse or doctor will see you and assess your condition before ‘streaming’ you to the appropriate area of the department. At this point you may be discharged with advice and/or medication and treatment if required. We aim to make this assessment within 15 minutes of your registering at reception.

Treatment

Minor injuries and illnesses will be treated in our Urgent Treatment Centre and more serious complaints will be seen in our Majors or Resuscitation areas. All children under the age of 17 will be sent directly to our Children’s Area. In all these areas you may be seen and treated by a doctor, a Emergency Nurse Practitioner or an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Discharge/admission

You will either be discharged from the department or admitted to the hospital.

Discharged patients will leave with advice and/or medication and treatment with a letter being sent to your GP outlining what has happened or if any follow up is required.

If it is decided that you require further treatment you may be admitted to the hospital. You will be referred to a relevant specialist team who will take over your care.

We are unable to provide transport home for most patients. If you want to order a taxi, there is a free phone in the A&E waiting area and UCLH is well served by public transport.