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In an emergency (ED)

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.