The emergency department assesses and treats people with serious injuries and those in need of emergency treatment. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
The emergency department is sometimes referred to as casualty, accident and emergency or A&E.
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to the emergency department. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in England.
Generally you should go to the emergency department only in emergencies such as loss of consciousness, a very serious state of confusion, persistent severe chest pain or breathing difficulties.
It may be more appropriate to visit an NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit. Find local walk-in centres and minor injury units in and around Southampton. The NHS Southampton City website has information to help you choose whether the emergency department is the appropriate place to come. If you are not sure you can phone your GP, who will have out-of-hours telephone services, or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
What happens at the emergency department
Once you're at the emergency department, a doctor or nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action. You may have to wait a short while before you are seen. There is an operational standard in place for A&E services, where 98% of people attending any A&E department should be seen, diagnosed and treated within four hours of arrival, to help ensure that the care is timely.
Where are we?
Our emergency department is based at Southampton General Hospital. Find maps, parking and public transport information in our Getting to Southampton General Hospital section.
For any further information about your local NHS primary care services such as GPs and out-of-hours treatment, please visit the NHS website.