This is when the NHS says you should attend an A&E department during the coronavirus pandemic and what will happen when you get there

As hospitals across the UK continue to battle against the coronavirus pandemic, we have taken a look at our health service’s advice on when patients should attend their hospital’s accident and emergency department.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 1:23 pm

Guidance from NHS England and the UK Government calls on families to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus, save lives and protect the NHS throughout the outbreak.

Imposing lockdown restrictions last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to only leave the house for essential shopping, daily exercise with those they live with, for unavoidable travel to and from work and to tend to any medical need.

Speaking earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that he wanted to open the NHS to non-coronavirus conditions “safely and carefully as soon as it is safe to do so” and assured patients that they would be “safely and properly” treated.

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At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, April 22 Mr Hancock also said that there are currently 10,000 spare beds across the NHS, with 3,000 of these in critical care wards.

This is what the NHS advice says on when a patient should attend A&E; the department which deals with “genuine and life-threatening” emergencies, which include:

*Loss of consciousness

We have looked at the NHS advice on when to attend A&E.

*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

Patients in a life-threatening or serious condition will be prioritised by the hospital’s staff on arrival, while others will be registered and then placed into triage, to be pre-assessed by a nurse or doctor.

What happens next, such as further tests or treatment will be determined by your condition and the result of assessment.

Those with less serious ailments or illnesses should not attend A&E, and can instead be treated in minor injuries or urgent care units.

Many GP surgeries and centres remain closed to public walk-ins due to the Covid-19 crisis, with patients instead asked to contact the NHS’s 111 number or online service for advice on what to do.

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