Emergency patients

King’s Emergency Department (ED) is open to anyone who needs urgent care because of an illness or accident. It is also often known as Accident & Emergency, A&E or Casualty.

Our ED sees more than 120,000 emergency patients every year – about 350 patients a day. About 25% of our patients are under 16, while 10% are over 65.

When to come to the ED

Emergency Department entrance
  • Many people come into the ED by ambulance as an emergency.
  • Your GP may ask you to come to the ED because you need urgent care that they cannot supply. They may give you a letter, which you should hand to the triage nurse who assesses you.
  • You can also ‘self-refer’ because you have a medical problem that you think needs urgent treatment.
  • If you have been suffering from a medical problem for more than 48 hours or have a long-standing illness or health problem, you can call NHS 111 for advice – simply dial 111. NHS 111 offers health information and reassurance about what to next. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
  • If your illness or injury is not serious but you want to see a doctor or nurse, you can visit your local GP Walk-in Centre. These are open every day.
    • Southwark: Lister Health Centre, 101 Peckham Road, SE15 5LJ. Simply turn up or make an appointment by phoning the centre on 020 3049 8430.
    • Lambeth: Gracefield Gardens Walk-in Centre, 2-8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham, SW16 2ST. Simply turn up between 11am-8pm, Monday to Friday, or between 8am-8pm at weekends.

Where is ED?

We are at King’s main site in Denmark Hill. The public entrance is near the pelican crossing and traffic lights on Denmark Hill and close to several bus stops and a five-minute walk from Denmark Hill rail station. There are two disabled car spaces and one drop-off bay (limited to a 20-minute stay) outside the ED. There is also hospital parking close by for which there is a charge.

See how to get to King's for information on transport to the hospital and finding your way around King's for a detailed map of the Trust campus, its buildings and facilities.

When you arrive

Please go to the reception desk and book in. The receptionist will take a few details about you such as your contact and GP’s details. A triage nurse will then assess you and you will be taken to another area of ED for further assessment or treatment: Resuscitation, Major, Minors, Children’s Area or Clinical Decision Unit (CDU). If your GP sent you to the ED with a letter, please give this to the nurse. Occasionally, a meet-and-greet nurse meets patients in reception who may send them to a more appropriate service.

Please note: we see patients according to the urgency of their medical need and not in order of their time of arrival.

When you leave the ED

We have advice leaflets for many conditions which explain more about the condition itself and how we treat it. The doctor or nurse you see will give you any relevant leaflets.

If you need proof that you have attended the ED, please ask the nurse or doctor looking after you. We usually provide you with a photocopy of the front sheet of your patient notes. We cannot give you a sick note: you need to visit your GP to get one.

What happens if I need more treatment?

We will send a letter to your GP explaining the treatment we have given you. This may take a few days, so if you will be seeing your GP before this, please ask for a copy of your notes and give them to your GP at your next appointment.

If we think you may benefit from seeing a specialist as an outpatient, we will ask your GP to organise an appointment as part of your continuing care.