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In an emergency (ED)

Attending our Emergency Departments during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Our Emergency Departments are open as usual and we would encourage anyone displaying serious health issues or life threatening illnesses, such as chest pains, symptoms of stroke, loss of consciousness, severe bleeding that can’t be stopped, or acute abdominal pain, to call 999 or attend an ED.

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms is assessed and treated by a different clinical ED team in a separate area away from patients not displaying symptoms.

It is really important that people continue to seek help early if they need it.

When attending our Emergency Departments it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Only one parent/guardian can accompany a child
  • No relatives permitted unless the patient is under 18 or in need of a registered carer
  • You must wear a hospital issued mask at all times unless exempt
  • You must comply with front door temperature checks
  • MTW NHS Trust does NOT tolerate any verbal or physical abuse

Emergency Departments (ED) 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
  • Wounds
  • 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
  • Overdoses
  • Alchohol related problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Conditions likely to require hospital admission

You can also find a local provider appropriate to your healthcare needs as well search for symptoms and treatments via the NHS Choices website.

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.

About ED

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 EDs use a priority system where the most seriously or critically ill patients are seen first.

Time spent in ED

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 ED.


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.