Accident & Emergency (A&E) and Emergency Care Centres (ECC) deal with patients with life-threatening or emergency illnesses and accidents. If the illness or injury is life-threatening, don’t hesitate – call 999 straight away.
You can call NHS 111 when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Alternatively, if you have a minor injury or illness, such as a minor cut or head injury with no loss of consciousness, you may find it quicker and easier to seek help at one of Kent and Medway’s Minor Injury Units (MIU).
Minor injury units can treat:
- Sprains and strains
- Wound infections
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor head injuries
- Insect and animal bites
- Minor eye injuries
- Injuries to the back, shoulder and chest
Minor injury units can’t treat:
- Children under one year old
- Children with major illness
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Major injuries
- Problems usually dealt with by a GP
- Stomach pains
- Gynaecological problems
- Pregnancy problems
- Allergic reactions
- Alchohol related problems
- Mental health problems
- Conditions likely to require hospital admission
You can also use the Health Help Now website or download the app, which helps people find the right service in Kent and Medway for their health needs, especially when they need medical help fast but it is not a life-threatening emergency. Health Help Now lists common symptoms and offers suggestions for treatment. The site lists Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Care Centres too as well as pharmacies and GP walk-in centres.
Further information on how you can manage your infection, which includes some simple self-care tips, a check list on how long common symptoms last and what serious symptoms to look out for, can be found in this handy Step-by-step guide on how to manage your infection.
We have an A&E department at Maidstone Hospital and an A&E and Trauma Unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital. We treat patients who have suffered a recent serious or life-threatening injury or accident, or who have developed a sudden illness. All A&E departments use a priority system where the most seriously or critically ill patients are seen first.
Time spent in A&E
We try to ensure that at least 95% of patients attending A&E are seen, treated and either admitted to or discharged from hospital, in four hours or less, in accordance with the national standard for A&E waiting times. There are occasions when, for good clinical reasons, patients need to spend longer than four hours in A&E.
Weekly waiting times
Our waiting times for week ending 2 April 2017 are:
- Maidstone Hospital A&E department saw 98.2% of patients within four hours
- Tunbridge Wells Hospital A&E department saw 83.6% of patients within four hours
A & E waiting times
We are having technical issues with our A&E waiting times and hope to have them back up and running soon.
Do you need A&E?
At a time when there is unprecedented demand for A&E, please think about your alternative care options…
Pharmacies for diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches and bites or stings.
GP surgeries for feverish children, vomiting, ear pain, feeling ill.
NHS 111 if you’re unwell, unsure, confused and if you need help asap.
Out of hours GP via NHS 111 if you urgently need a GP during the evening or at a weekend.
A&E is for emergencies – chest pain, suspected stroke, blacking out, bleeding you can’t stop, or if you are struggling to breathe.