Who to see?

For real life-threatening emergencies such as those below – RING 999

  • Chest pain (suspected heart attack)
  • Suspected stroke
  • Suspected meningitis
  • Anaphylactic shock (severe allergy)
  • Heavy bleeding or deep lacerations
  • Fluctuating levels of consciousness or completely unconscious
  • Difficulty breathing or stopped breathing with a change in colour
  • New seizure, fit or uncontrollable shaking

For immediately serious conditions such as the following, GO TO Emergency Department (A&E) IMMEDIATELY

  • A fever and lethargic (drowsy) child
  • A feverish and floppy (unresponsive) infant
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Accidental or intentional overdose of medication
  • Trauma (including falls) and possible broken bones or road traffic accident

Do you need to see the GP?

Sometimes the GP is not the most appropriate Healthcare Professional to deal with your ailment.

You may be offered an appointment with one of our experienced Practice Nursing Team who are able to see a wide range of patients with minor ailments.  .

You may be asked to attend a local pharmacy if you present with the following minor and self-limiting conditions: Cough, cold, hay fever, warts, verrucae, threadworm, head lice.

Please go to the Minor Injuries Unit (2yrs+) at the Herts & Essex Hospital for: Minor injuries – Cuts and burns – Sprains and strains – Suspected fractures

Accidents and Emergencies

A&E is for life-threatening situations such as a heart attack or stroke and for the care of people who show the symptoms of serious illness or who are badly injured.

Either call 999 and ask for an ambulance or ask someone to drive you to your nearest A&E department. Do not attempt to drive yourself.

Princess Alexandra Hospital: Hamstel Road, Harlow, Essex. CM20 1QX Tel: 01279 444455

Addenbrookes Hospital: Hills Road, Cambridge. CB2 0QQ Tel: 01223 245151

Please note the The QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City no longer has an A&E Department. There is now an Urgent Care Centre based there that operates 24hours a day, 7 days a week. See ‘Minor injuries’ section for details.

Minor Injuries

A nurse lead minor injuries unit operates at the Herts and Essex Hospital, Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm (last registration).

They can treat:

  • minor injuries,
  • cuts and burns,
  • sprains and strains,
  • suspected fractures.

They cannot treat:

  • children under 2 years of age,
  • dressing changes or stitch removal,
  • cold symptoms, ear infections or sore throat,
  • abdominal or chest pain.

For further advice, visit the Minor Injuries website or telephone the unit on 01279 655191 ext4298.

Minor Injuries Unit Leaflet

Urgent Care Centre

An Urgent Care Centre is available at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City from 8am to 10pm daily.

Queen Elizabeth II hospital, Howlands, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. AL7 4HQ Telephone: 111

Adults and children of all ages with minor injuries or minor illnesses can go to the Urgent Care Centre. No appointment is necessary.

The Urgent Care Centre will treat:

  • Muscle and joint injuries – such as strains, sprains, sudden back or neck pain, tendonitis and soft tissue injuries.
  • Suspected fractures and broken bones.
  • Bites, stings, cuts, bruises and grazes.
  • Burns and scalds.
  • Foreign bodies stuck in ears or noses.
  • Minor eye injuries.
  • Minor head injuries.
  • Minor illness that cannot wait until your GP surgery is next open.