Should I go to Accident and Emergency?
Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in our hospitals get very busy and we ask that you use it carefully. Please only come to A&E if you need immediate care for something that is very serious or life-threatening so that we can focus on patients who need it most.
Our A&E departments are located at:
- Whipps Cross
- Royal London
Please note, there is no Accident and Emergency Department at St Bartholomew’s Hospital or at Mile End.
If you, or someone you are with, is seriously ill or injured and you feel their life is at risk, ring 999 as soon as you can to arrange an ambulance. The call operator will advise you.
If you are unsure whether you need A&E or if you are unwell but it’s not life-threatening, you can get still get medical help.
If you need urgent medical advice, which is not life threatening, contact 111.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you and can give you health information and reassurance about what to do next.
Ask your local pharmacist for advice
Your pharmacist can give you advice for many illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, cold and flu, travel advice, rashes or sore throats. Some pharmacists can prescribe a range of medicines such as emergency contraceptive, flu vaccines and emergency supplies of your regular prescription if you run out. They usually have a private consultation room if you’d prefer to speak with them in private. Find your local pharmacist here.
Speak to your own doctor
When you are unwell, you should make arrangements to see your GP. If you are not registered for a GP, you can find you nearest surgery and get advice on choosing a GP here.
Walk in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre
If you have a minor illness or injury and it cannot wait until your GP is open, you can visit a walk in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre.
Our minor injuries departments are a walk in service based at St Bartholomew’s and Whipps Cross. You do not need an appointment and you will be seen by experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioner and accident and emergency nursing staff who are very experienced in working in A&E departments and have undergone specialist training in managing minor injuries. As soon as you are booked in you can start to have treatment such as pain relief and, if required, we will order x-rays for you. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict how long you will have to wait, but we will let you know an approximate waiting time when you get here.
At Whipps Cross University Hospital, the Minor Injuries unit is just by the entrance to the A&E department on the ground floor in Red Zone and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the unit is based on the ground floor of Kenton and Lucas wing. The opening hours are Monday – Friday 8am-4pm, but you must arrive before 3.30pm to be booked in.
An urgent care centre is for you if you have a non-life-threatening illness or injury and are unable to wait until your GP can offer an appointment. We can prescribe emergency medication and help with x-rays. Our team is made up of GPs and specialist nurses who will make sure that you receive the care you need.
We provide urgent care from the following emergency departments:
- Newham University Hospital. Open daily from 8am-11pm.
- The Royal London Hospital. Open daily from 12noon-10pm.
- Whipps Cross University Hospital. Open 24 hours daily.
This service does not replace your own GP as we do not hold medical records for you and does not have the overall picture of your health. Please only use this service for non-routine emergency situations.
Our dentist hospitals do not offer an emergency or out of hours service. If you have problems with your teeth, you need to either contact your own dentist or NHS 111 for advice.