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Nottingham Hospitals plea to use A&E for life-threatening or dangerous health conditions only – see other ways to get help

Nottingham University Hospitals Queens Medical Centre Emergency Department is extremely busy. 

A spokesperson for Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said today 19 December:

‘”Our A&E is under pressure.

“Please, think 111 first and get immediate advice. Go to A&E only if your condition is life-threatening or dangerous. No one wants to sit in A&E for hours if they don’t have to.

“Our staff are working really hard to get patients home and to keep everyone safe. If you need urgent advice but it’s not an emergency, please call 111 or your out-of-hours pharmacist. Please don’t go to A&E unless your condition is life-threatening or serious.”

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The emergency department is very busy and patients are requested to attend it in a real emergency only, see below for guidelines:

Only come to our ED at QMC if it’s for serious, life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention including persistent severe chest pain, loss of consciousness, acute confused state, severe blood loss, serious burns, suspected stroke.

You should only call 999 or visit the ED in a real emergency.

This includes a serious injury or life-threatening problem such as loss of consciousness, severe breathing difficulty, heavy bleeding, severe chest pain, suspected broken bones, deep wounds (e.g. stab wounds), swallowing something harmful or poisonous or a drug overdose.

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For non-emergencies, the services below are available and will be able to help resolve you issue much quicker than ED which can be busy and subject to long waits.


If you need advice for minor health problems you can speak to your pharmacist for on-the-spot advice and remedies for a wide range of problems such as stomach upsets, coughs and colds, cystitis and emergency contraception.

Details of Nottingham City pharmacies that are open on bank holidays can be found online here.


If you or your family need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed (Monday to Friday 6.30pm-8.00am; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 24 hours) phone the usual surgery number and your call will be re-directed to the GP out-of-hours service.

You can find a list of GPs in Nottingham here.


If you need help fast but don’t think it’s a 999 emergency, you can call NHS 111. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.

It can signpost you to a range of local health services, including doctors, community nurses, emergency dental care and late opening chemists.

The 111 service can also put you in contact with the GP out-of-hours service, which can arrange for you to see a doctor or nurse during evenings and weekends if needed.

Call 111


111 may also direct you to the new NHS Urgent Care Centre on London Road (next to the BBC building). It is open every day from 7am to 9pm and deals with non life threatening injuries (it has X-ray facilities) and health problems. You don’t need an appointment to attend.

The service aims to be a real alternative to visiting the emergency department (ED) for non-life threatening injury and illness that needs treating straight away. You should have a shorter waiting time than if you visit ED /the hospital.

The centre offers assessment and treatment for urgent health conditions such as:

  • minor burns or scalds
  • minor head injuries with no loss of consciousness
  • skin infections or animal bites
  • suspected broken bones, sprains and strains (X-ray facilities are available) – if you have a fracture, the Urgent Care Centre will provide appropriate treatment on site and arrange for you to have follow-up care at the fracture clinic
  • eye infections or minor eye injuries
  • open wounds or cuts that may require suturing (stitches)

An urgent dental service is also available on-site that can provide free advice on dental problems.

Click here for more information

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