Emergency Department

The Emergency Department (ED) at Medway Hospital is open 24 hours a day, every day, for the treatment of serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries for all adults and children of any age. As well as being a Trauma Unit, we have specialist services within the Department, and within the Hospital, to care for patients with emergencies.

If you attend our ED you will be met on arrival by an experienced nurse or doctor who will assess your immediate healthcare needs. This will help decide if you need to be seen by a specialist Emergency Medicine doctor or an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, or if you can be seen elsewhere by a GP, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. If your problem can be dealt with outside of the Emergency Department, you will be redirected. There is a GP service on-site, open 24 hours a day, every day, if you do not require ED care but are not able to see your own GP.

If you are seriously ill or injured, you may be brought to the ED by helicopter or emergency ‘blue-light’ ambulance. The ambulance service will have alerted us to your situation, so that we can prepare for your arrival. We will see you immediately – you will not wait. If you attend by any other means, including by ambulance (where the ambulance service has not deemed you in need of immediate attention), you will be assessed on arrival as described above.  If you do not require immediate care, you will be seen in order of arrival.

There are three main areas of the ED: an area designed to care for patients with major illnesses or injuries, an area for the care of patients with minor injuries, and an area for the care of children up to the age of 18. Each area has its own separate waiting area. There is also a Resuscitation Room, for patients with the most serious illness or injury, and for certain procedures. The waiting time may be different in each area, and will depend on the numbers of patients attending before you, and the seriousness of their condition. The waiting areas are designed to be separate from the clinical areas to maintain privacy for patients and their carers.

The current ED was designed to treat 45,000 patients each year – we currently see over 120,000 patients, and so are expanding the size of the ED.  If you have any comments or questions about your ED, please contact the Emergency Department Matron on 01634 830000 Ext 6676, or attend one of our Meet the Matron drop-in sessions, details of which can be found on noticeboards within the Department.