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Visiting the Adult Emergency Department

UHL Emergency Department Ambulances
UHL Emergency Department Ambulances

Patients who need emergency medical care should attend hospital via our emergency department, but to keep patients and staff safe, and ensure our services can be accessed by the people who need us most, we have made some changes to how you should use our ED. Please read the following guidance before you attend.


Do you have an emergency or an urgent need?

If your condition isn't life-threatening (in the case of heart attacks, strokes, major bleeding/trauma or other severe acute symptoms) the best place for your needs is unlikely to be our ED. 

A range of minor illnesses can be treated closer to home through your GP, pharmacist or urgent care centre. To be directed to the best place for your needs, please call 111 first. Or go online to https://111.nhs.uk/ in most instances this will provide you with a faster response than a wait in our emergency department.

Please note, if you arrive at our ED, with a non-emergency condition we may ask you to call your GP/or 111 to be re-directed to another health location for your care. 

Read more about the 111 process here.


Attend alone wherever possible

In line with our hospital visitor restrictions we ask that anyone attending our emergency department should do so on their own, if practically possible, following the guidance below, this will make is possible for people to safely distance whilst on site:

o   Patients should attend without friends, relatives and children

o   It may not be possible for carers to stay with their patient at all times. If you are asked to leave by a clinician, we will take any details related to ongoing medical/care needs. Click here to read more on our page 'Visiting ED - Information for Carers' 

In children's ED, only one parent/main carer may stay with the patient and no siblings or children under 16 years should attend with the patient.


Blue and red ED treatment areas

When you arrive at our Emergency Department (ED) you will first visit a portacabin located at both Adult’s and Children’s ED receptions.  Here, you will be assessed and directed to either the Blue or Red department, depending on your symptoms.

o   The Blue Department is for patients without symptoms of COVID-19

o   The Red Department is for patients with symptoms of COVID-19  

Although the two areas are not very far from each other, there may be a little more walking for some. If you need help getting between the two departments, please speak to one of our team and they will be happy to assist you.

If you are arriving by ambulance the ambulance crew will take you directly to the right treatment area. 

We continue to keep all of our restrictions under regular review. Any update to our current visiting restrictions will be reflected on this page.  

For full hospital visiting restrictions please visit the following link: Updates to Visiting Restrictions