Should I go to the Emergency Department?

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:

When you should go to A&E

Please note, there is no Accident and Emergency Department at St Bartholomew’s Hospital or at Mile End.

Call 999

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.

NHS 111

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.

They may book you an appointment at an Urgent Treatment Centre which offers GP-led healthcare 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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 treatment 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 treatment centre.

Conditions that can be treated at a minor injuries unit include: cuts and grazes, broken and dislocated bones, minor burns and scalds, bites and stings, strains and sprains, minor head and facial injuries, minor eye and ear injuries, rib injuries, management of simple boils and simple back pain and injuries.

The team can also order X-rays where required.

Our minor injuries departments are a walk in service. You do not need an appointment and you will be seen by experienced emergency nurse practitioners 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.

St Bartholomew's Hospital

The minor injuries unit at St Bartholomew's Hospital provides a walk-in service for people living and working in the City and neighbouring boroughs.

The service at St Bartholomew’s is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm with the last patient booked in at 3.45pm. It can be found in the Kenton and Lucas block of the hospital.

Please note, the minor injuries unit is currently closed and will open again at 8am on Tuesday 3 Janaury 2023.

Whipps Cross Hospital

At Whipps Cross, 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.

Urgent treatment centre

An urgent treatment 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 treatment from the following emergency departments:

  • Newham University Hospital. Open daily from 8am-11pm.
  • The Royal London Hospital. Open 24 hours daily and is located in Clinic 1 at the The Royal London Hospital’s Cavell Entrance on Stepney Way. 
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital. Open 24 hours daily and is located on the hospital main corridor at Junction 5.

    To book an appointment please call NHS 111.

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.

Dental care

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.