Emergency patients

Emergency Department entrance

King’s Emergency Department (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.

It is open to anyone who needs urgent hospital care because of an illness or accident. It is also often known as Accident & Emergency, A&E or Casualty.

Help us help you get the treatment you need

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a decrease in people accessing NHS services for a range of conditions that are not related to Coronavirus. If you have a condition that is not related to Coronavirus and you need medical help, we are here for you. Please see the below guidance for when to come into hospital:

  • If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
  • If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.
  • If you are told to go to hospital, it is important that you go to hospital.
  • You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend. You may be asked to use our video consultation service for your next outpatient appointment.

For more information, please read our latest update. We also have a leaflet for patients coming into the hospital: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Information for patients at King's College Hospital.

Where is the ED?

See how to get to King's for information on transport to the hospital, and the King's campus map. The ED entrance is close to several bus stops and to 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.

When you arrive

You may first see a nurse who may send you to a more appropriate service if the ED is not the best place for your treatment. A triage nurse will then assess you and decide which area of the ED you need to be seen by. If your GP sent you to the ED with a letter, please give this to the nurse. You will also be asked to book in at reception and give them your contact and GP details.

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

Opt-out HIV testing

Anyone who requires a blood test will be screened for HIV. If you do not wish to be tested for HIV, please alert the clinicians who are treating you. Our HIV screening in ED poster explains more about why we are offering HIV screening and this is displayed around the Emergency Department. Anyone who tests positive will be informed and referred to our dedicated HIV department for support and treatment.

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.