The A&E department allows patients to walk in and receive treatment for severe and less severe injuries and illnesses. The illnesses treated in A&E include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe and persistent bleeding
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe and persistent chest pain
- Severe burns or scalds
- Severe allergic reactions
- An acute confused state and persistent fits
A&E offers 24/7 access 365 days a year, and is run by paramedics, A&E nurses, diagnostic radiographers, porters, healthcare assistants, emergency medicine doctors, and more.
A&E is not an alternative to getting an appointment with a GP. If your GP practice is closed and you require non-emergency treatment, you can call NHS 111 which will direct you to the best service, or visit an NHS walk-in-centre. Walk-in-centres allow patients to receive help for minor illnesses without an appointment.
Although the main benefit of Urgent Care Centres are the lack of waiting times. However, other benefits include:
- Longer amounts of time spent talking to unhurried doctors
- Potentially better equipment and facilities due to higher funding
- Potentially faster treatment, allowing patients to get back to their lives as soon as possible
- Element of luxury that makes them feel like a hotel, allowing for a restful recovery