Emergency department (A&E)
Our emergency department is located at St Thomas' Hospital. This is a walk-in service. You do not need an appointment to attend the emergency department.
At the emergency department
We use a priority system to make sure we see the most seriously ill people first.
We may direct you somewhere else if:
- your condition is not an accident or an emergency
- your symptoms mean we need to see you in 1 of our specialty areas
If you arrive at the pedestrian entrance, a nurse will meet you and assess where we can best treat you. The nurse will ask you some questions and record your vital signs including:
- blood pressure
This will help us understand the seriousness of your condition. We might direct you to the on-site GP hub or the most appropriate service.
If we need to book you into the emergency department, you'll get a numbered ticket to take to our reception.
Our receptionist will call your ticket number and register you.
Some people need more tests after registration. A nurse will call you and perform or arrange these tests.
We'll see you in 1 of our treatment areas. Your treatment depends on your condition. Not everyone sees the same doctors or nurses.
If you have a minor injury or illness, we’ll tell you to go to our urgent care centre.
Please remember that waiting times can differ between treatment areas and specialists. Other people may be called more quickly than you.
Coming to A&E at St Thomas' Hospital video
Watch our animation about visiting emergency department (A&E).
This video is an animation with no spoken audio. This is a transcript of the words on the screen:
Tell the nurse why you've come to A&E
If it's not an emergency
You may be better treated elsewhere
Self care, NHS Direct, Pharmacy, GP or Dentist or the Urgent Care Centre
Take a ticket
Wait for your ticket number to be called
Go to reception
The receptionist will ask some questions
and look up your health records
Take a seat
Wait for your name to be called
A nurse will do some tests
Wait to see a doctor
Before you go home
Tell us what you think
Would you recommend us to your friends and family?
Help us to keep improving
If your GP refers you to see a particular team, you’ll have to register at the emergency department. Although the team will be expecting you, they may not be able to see you immediately.
You may be redirected to:
- eye casualty, for eye problems
- Burrell Street clinic, a reproductive and sexual health service based in Southwark
- maternity day assessment unit, for pregnancy-related problems if you’re over 18 weeks pregnant
- early pregnancy and acute gynaecology unit, for:
- pregnancy-related problems if you’re up to 18 weeks pregnant
- gynaecological problems
Leaving the emergency department
We'll send your GP a letter with details of your visit to the emergency department.
If you need to attend the fracture clinic our reception staff will book you an appointment. Please make sure you’ve got an appointment card before you leave the department.
If we need to see you at any other clinic, we'll contact you over the next few days. Please make sure we have your correct contact details
We're unable to provide transport home for most patients. St Thomas’ hospital is well served by public transport.
If you want to order a taxi there is a free phone in the waiting area.
Last updated: August 2023