Service overview - Accident and emergency (A&E)

This department is where you will be taken if you have an accident or in the event of an emergency, either by being brought in by ambulance or by making your own way to hospital.

Our A&E departments operate 24 hours a day, every day and have staff who are equipped to deal with all emergencies.

If you come to the emergency department you will be triaged (assessed) by a nurse on arrival and treated on a priority basis according to the severity of your illness.

You can either self-present or be transferred in by the ambulance service.

The department also offers follow-up clinics to some patients (adults and children) who present with certain conditions.

Video appointments

Many of our services offer video calls as a more convenient way of having an appointment with one of our healthcare professionals. This reduces the need for you to attend the hospital physically.

If you have an appointment letter with a video appointement link and instructions, please read more on our Video appointments page.

What we can help you with

We provide care for patients who need urgent treatment in a medical emergency or following an accident. We have both adult and child-specific treatment areas.

If you’re unsure if you should come to A&E, read more at Should I go to A&E - do you really need to come in to hospital?.

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What we cannot help you with

The department cannot help with any problems that a GP could otherwise deal with, or with longer term problems (those being looked after by a GP or for which the patient has already been referred to outpatients).

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Prescription charges

Unless you are exempt from prescription charges, the current NHS prescription charge will apply per item for any medicines prescribed for you in A&E.

You will need to pay this when collecting your medicine from the hospital pharmacy or if your medicine is dispensed in A&E the hospital accounts department will send you a bill.

Some medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be purchased cheaply in pharmacies or supermarkets. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you wish to purchase your own rather than pay the prescription charge.

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Location and contact details

Basildon – 01268 524900 using extension 2843, 2810 or 2811. Located on Ground floor opposite main multistorey carpark.

Broomfield – 01245 513902. Located in Zone A, Level 2.

Southend - 01702 385469. Located on the Ground floor.

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Waiting times

Waiting times will vary depending on the time of day and the number of patients.

We will always encourage you to only come to A&E if you absolutely need it.

You can use your GP services, NHS111 or your local pharmacy for treatment of minor illnesses.

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Keeping everyone safe in the emergency department

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought extra pressures and challenges for the team in the hospital. So it’s more important than ever to keep our staff and patients safe.

You may not know the NHS has introduced a new system for people needing urgent medical care when it is not a “life or limb threatening” 999 emergency. If you have an urgent medical problem or you’re not sure what to do, just call NHS 111 first and they’ll make sure you get to the best place for you to be seen safely and quickly.

The NHS 111 team has access to clinical experts and if you need to visit the emergency department they can book you a time slot when you should attend.

They’ll also let us know when you’re coming. This means you could avoid a lengthy wait in the waiting room and be seen more quickly.

This is really important because we’ve had to reduce the size of our waiting rooms due to COVID-19 and social distancing. Calling NHS 111 first could mean some people do not need to visit A&E at all. Their needs could be met by visiting a pharmacy or arranging an appointment at their GP practice. The NHS 111 team will advise on the right thing to do.

If you arrive at the emergency department without contacting NHS 111 first, you will still be seen, but you may have to wait longer unless you need immediate treatment.

Keeping patients and staff safe in the emergency department [pdf]

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NHS 111

If you become unwell or injured, make sure you choose the right NHS service to make sure you get the best treatment.

You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Visit to find out more.

When to use it

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
  • For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

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