A&E departments assess and treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for life-threatening emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- persistent, severe chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
Less severe injuries can be treated in minor injuries units (MIUs) and NHS walk-in centres (WICs), which can treat patients without an appointment. Minor Injuries Units can be a quick alternative to A&E for minor injuries such as burns and scalds, insect bites and stings and sprains.
It is not necessary to live locally or to make an appointment – you can simply walk-in.
Find out more about alternatives to A&E here.