Health encyclopaedia - Alphabetical Topic List

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Accident and emergency departments

Accident and Emergency (A&E)  departments assess and treat people with serious injuries and those in need of emergency treatment. They are sometimes referred to as ‘casualty’ departments. A&E departments are normally open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. They will be signposted from major roads.

A&E departments are often confused with Minor Injuries Units. Minor Injuries Units usually treat injuries like cuts, sprains, minor burns and broken bones and fractures in people over 12 years of age. They are often lead by nurses rather than doctors and may not be open 24 hours a day.

Not all hospitals have an A&E department. Often the A&E department will be at the major hospital for your area. You can use the Accident & Emergency Search  facility on NHS.uk to find A&E departments near you.