Accident & Emergency (A&E)

A&E departments are open 24/7 for serious injuries and illnesses. Please use A&E wisely so its doctors and nurses can focus on people with the most serious health needs. 

Immediate help for less serious problems is also available from NHS 111, local pharmacies and urgent care centres.

A&E is for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries, which can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent, severe chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties and choking
  • Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Having fits
  • Badly broken bones

Children

It is normal to be extra concerned with getting the right care if a child becomes unwell. For minor illnesses and injuries GPs and urgent care centres can treat children.

You should take your child to A&E if they:

  • Becomes feverish or lethargic, and you’ve tried given them paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Are breathing unnaturally fast, unnaturally slowly, or is struggling to breathe at all
  • Are experiencing severe abdominal pain
  • Have a cut or graze that won’t stop bleeding
  • Have a cut that is big or severe
  • Are unable to use one of their limbs
  • Have swallowed a dangerous substance (e.g. adult medication or poison)