A&E is for emergencies 

If you are injured or ill, the NHS provides a range of services to help you get well. You can get better, faster treatment by choosing the NHS service that can best treat your symptoms.

This advice will ensure you get the right treatment in the right healthcare setting and reduce the demand on our A&E so that they can help those people in most need – people with emergency or lift threatening conditions including chest pain or blood loss, or who are blacking out or choking.

Many common illnesses can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medicine and getting plenty of rest. It is worth keeping paracetamol or aspirin, anti-diarrhoea medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedy, plasters and a thermometer in your medicine cabinet. Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries. For more information about looking after yourself visit

Please remember to renew your prescription medicine before you need to – this will ensure you do not run out of your medicines.

Pharmacists can advise you on many health conditions. Your local pharmacist can give you expert advice about over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common conditions such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, a painful cough or a headache, without the need for an appointment. As well as dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists provide a range of services related to specific health issues and can advise on ailments such as colds and flu, skin conditions and allergies. Other services include emergency contraception and incontinence supplies.  Some pharmacists have flu and other health related clinics for advice.  For help finding your nearest pharmacist, use the online search on or call 0300 311 22 33.

Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away, including persistent vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache. Get the treatment you need at a convenient time and place and reduce the demand on our emergency services. Registering is free and means you can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. For help finding your nearest GP, use the online search on or call 0300 311 22 33. If you need to see a GP urgently when your practice is closed, call 111 for fast medical advice.

NHS 111
When you need medical help fast but it is not an emergency, call the NHS free phone number 111. The 111 service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls to 111 will be assessed, advice given and, if needed, patients will be directed to the most appropriate local health services. Calls to 111 are free wherever you call from. Call 111 if:

- You need an NHS urgent care service
- You don't know who to call for medical help
- You need information about a health issue

If it is an emergency and someone needs help to save their life, call 999.

Urgent care, walk-in, and minor illness and injury centres
Local urgent care, walk-in, and minor illness and injury centres provide fast medical treatment and advice for patients with injuries and illnesses which are urgent but do not need a visit to A&E. They can also be used when you can’t wait for an appointment with your GP. These centres can treat injuries and illnesses such as broken bones, cuts, sprains and strains, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings, and some emergency prescriptions for medication such as inhalers. You don’t need to book an appointment – just turn up and you will be seen promptly by a doctor or nurse. To find your nearest urgent care, walk-in, or minor illness and injury centre visit NHS Choices on You can also call 111 for urgent medical advice.

Emergency service
There is a crisis and emergency service available to support people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and who need help quickly. The service can be accessed through your GP and by calling 111. Lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

A&E or 999
Our A&E department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat people with serious and life threatening emergencies.   If you are unsure of whether you need serious, life threatening help, call 111. They will direct you to the most appropriate service for your health needs.


Working with us

NHS best places to work


We currently touch the lives of half a million patients in the west of Berkshire every year by providing high quality acute medical and surgical services for our local communities.  If you would like to join our team we would love to hear from you - we are always looking for talented staff with a commitment to providing the best patient care.

Getting in touch

Main switchboard : 0118 322 5111

The main switchboard at Royal Berkshire Hospital can direct you to many of our services and teams.  

You can also find direct dial numbers for wards and departments on their individual pages.

Patient Relations Team :

0118 322 8338

If you have an issue or query that you would like us to help you resolve, our Patient Relations Team may be able to help.  

You can ask a member of staff to contact Patient Relations for you, you can contact them directly yourself. You can write to them at:

Patient Relations Team
Level 2 Main Entrance
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
London Road
Reading RG1 5AN 

or you can email:  

Media contacts

All media enquiries should be directed to the Communications Team. They will, wherever possible, respond promptly to your requests, contact them by email at

Journalists, if you have an urgent out of hours enquiry please call the main switchboard on 0118 322 5111

PLACE inspection

PLACE report

PLACE is a national assessment of non-clinical services carried out on a single day.  This year’s took place on Friday 5 May 2016.

All the assessments involve local people, known as Patient Assessors, going into hospitals as part of teams to assess how the environment supports the provision of clinical care, assessing such things as cleanliness, food and hydration, privacy dignity & wellbeing, condition appearance and maintenance, dementia, and disability.

How did we do?

Our results were very positive and above the national average in all domains.  In some areas they were significantly better. 

What was inspected 

National average

Royal Berkshire 2016






Condition, appearance, maintenance




Privacy, dignity and wellbeing








Organisation food




Ward food










Buscot incubator Reading Post appeal

Find out about what has been happening around the Trust and see where we have featured in local news stories and television broadcasts.

Click here for more.



Interested in working in an exciting, fast moving environment that makes a real difference to people?   

Find out more here.

About the Trust

members at amm

Information about our Board and Executive, our publications and our performance, and information about Freedom of Information requests.

Find out more here.

  • CONTACT DETAILS: Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, London Road, Reading RG1 5AN
  • Email us
  • Tel: 0118 322 5111