An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
• loss of consciousness
• acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
• chest pain
• breathing difficulties
• severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
• severe allergic reactions
• severe burns or scalds
• major trauma such as a road traffic accident
Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units. A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment.
If your GP is closed you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111, which will direct you to the best local service.
Alternatively, you can visit an NHS urgent treatment or walk-in centre, which will also treat minor illnesses without an appointment.