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Paediatric Emergency Department

What we do

Our Paediatric Emergency Department cares for children and young people aged 17 and under who need emergency care because of a serious illness or accident. Find out information about our Emergency Department for adults.

What happens when we arrive?

  • When you arrive at the main reception at the Emergency Department you will be directed to the Paediatric Emergency Department reception.
  • Please check in at Paediatric Emergency Department reception immediately to register your child. This alerts the medical and nursing staff to your arrival.
  • You will be asked the following about your child:
    • name
    • date of birth
    • contact details, including address
    • school, nursery or care setting
    • social services involvement (if applicable)
  • If you need translator services, please tell the person at reception when you check in.


  • Soon after you have checked in, you will be called through to triage.
  • Here a senior nurse will assess your child and decide:
    • how urgently your child needs to be seen
    • what area of the emergency department you will be seen in
    • who will see your child
    • if your child needs pain relief or other urgent medication

How long will it take for my child to be seen?

  • Children are seen according to how urgent their medical need is and not how long they have been in the department.
  • Children in the emergency department can be seen in a number of areas depending on how unwell they are (see below).
  • If you feel your child needs to be seen sooner, they are in pain or they have been missed for some reason, please alert a member of staff as soon as possible so that your child can get the care they need.

Areas within ED


  • Some patients are redirected to our in-house GP service at the point of triage.
  • These doctors see patients with simple conditions which can be managed in the community.


  • Children with minor injuries and illness are cared for in this area.


  • Children who need urgent treatment or tests are cared for in this area.


  • In this area we manage our critically unwell and severely injured patients.

Sensory room

  • We have a room which is specially designed for children and young people with additional needs. The room contains sensory tools and soft, padded floor mats. If you feel your child needs this space, please tell a member of staff.

Who can I talk to?

If you have any questions or concerns, each area has a specified nurse or doctor assigned to it. They will be happy to answer any questions about your child’s care.

What if I do not want to wait?

Please alert a member of staff if you decide not to wait to be seen. It is important that we always know who is in the department, and if we can do anything else to help you with your emergency. We will ask you to complete a self-discharge form.

What happens when my child is discharged?

  • When your child is discharged, the doctor and nurse will explain the next steps.
  • If your child has a common illness, further information and advice can be found via QR codes displayed in the Paediatric Emergency Department. Please ask your nurse or doctor where to find them. You can also access this information on the Healthier Together website.
  • If your child is prescribed medication when they are discharged, the prescription will be sent electronically to our pharmacy located on Denmark Hill. It is open 8am to 9pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am to 5pm (Saturday to Sunday). Outside of these hours, your medication (or a prescription) will be provided for you in the department.
  • Your discharge letter will be sent electronically to your GP.
  • If you are unsure about the advice given to you in the department, please check your discharge plan with a member of the team before you leave.

Health visitor and social services

  • We ask every child that comes to the emergency department if they have a social worker.
  • If we feel your child would benefit from the support of social services or a health visitor, then we will discuss this with you before you go home.

What to do if your child becomes unwell after they are discharged

  • For non-urgent medical problems, please call 111 or contact your GP.
  • Please return to the Emergency Department or call 999 if your child needs immediate care, including if they:
    • become floppy or listless (lacking energy)
    • change in colour
    • display a rash that doesn’t disappear under pressure
    • have significant breathing difficulties

What if I have a concern or a worry?

There are several ways for you to raise any concerns you may have:


Ground floor, Denmark Wing, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS

Contact Details

  • King’s College Hospital Emergency Department Friends and Family line: 020 3299 7919
  • King’s College Hospital switchboard: 020 3299 9000

Patient information leaflets

TitleFile SizeLink
Children with autism and/or learning disabilities attending the Paediatric Emergency Department284 KB
Welcome to the Paediatric Emergency Department127 KB

Conditions we treat

We treat only acute emergency conditions and injuries.

What is required before referring a patient

If possible, please provide the patient with a referral letter. This should contain the following information:


  • Referral date

About the patient

  • Relevant medical details – for example, current and past medical problems, medication, biochemical results
  • Reason for referral
  • Patient’s full name
  • NHS number
  • King’s hospital number (or whether the patient has attended King’s before)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Full address, including postcode
  • Home and telephone mobile phone numbers indicating the patient’s preferred contact number
  • Email address (if they have one)
  • Please tell us if the patient does not have a phone or if there is a carer/advocate we should be liaising with
  • Please tell us if the patient needs an interpreter/advocate/other special assistance

About the GP/GDP

  • Full name and address of referring GP/GDP and practice name including email address and phone number.
  • Full name and address of registered GP/GDP practice including email address and phone number.

Booking a patient at King’s

Routine Referrals

We deal with emergencies only.

GPs can phone King’s to discuss and refer acutely unwell patients. For more information see our page about managing and referring acutely unwell patients.

Emergency Referrals

Where possible, give patients a referral letter when you refer them here.

GPs can phone King’s to discuss and refer acutely unwell patients. For more information see our page about managing and referring acutely unwell patients.