Click to view Emergency Department (A&E) waiting times
86 People
Number of people in A&E department
0:55 Hours
Average wait to be seen by a clinician
2:30 Hours
Average time in the department

Emergency Department (A&E)

The Emergency Department (A&E) cares for patients who are acutely ill, or have life or limb threatening problems. These include:

  • Signs of heart attack
  • Signs of stroke
  • Sudden confusion 
  • Suicide attempt
  • Severe difficulty breathing
  • Choking
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe injuries
  • Seizure
  • Sudden, rapid swelling of lips, mouth, throat or tongue.

The majority of people, however, who attend the Emergency Department have minor, non life-threatening or limb-threatening injuries and illnesses. For these, please use NHS 111, Reading Urgent Care Centre, your local GP or Pharmacy. 

We have separate Adult, Children's and Minor Injuries Emergency Departments. 

What to expect

When you arrive at ED as a patient, you will be assessed and triaged by a nurse or doctor who will determine the nature of your illness or injury. You may be sent for an x-ray, and/or have a blood test, and/or might be given some medicines to relieve any pain. Not all patients requiring an x-ray will have this done before seeing the doctor. This will depend on the nature of the injury and the complexity of the problem. The wait for blood test results is normally between 1-2 hours and the wait to be seen by a doctor varies depending on how busy the department is. The average length of stay within the department is 3-4 hours.

If the triaging nurse or receptionist believes you can be seen by an emergency nurse practitioner or doctor in our emergency department minors unit you may be sent there straight from reception/triage to wait to be assessed. they are also able to perform x-rays, blood tests and provide medication. 

University Department of Excellence