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Emergency department

The emergency department assesses and treats people with major trauma, serious injuries and those in need of emergency treatment. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

The emergency department is sometimes referred to as casualty, accident and emergency or A&E. 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.

Urgent care services

Did you know that our emergency department is just one of the urgent care services in the city? There are a variety of other local health services available and selecting the right one will help you feel better faster. Find out more.

Southampton residents can also use the local services section of Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group's website to find out when it's appropriate to come to the emergency department and what alternative services are available. You can also get further information about your local NHS primary care services such as GPs and out-of-hours treatment.

What happens at the emergency department

Once you're at the emergency department, please register at reception. A doctor or nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action - this is called triage. Please be aware that you may have a short wait before you are seen, as this ensures people with the most serious conditions are seen first.

You may then be referred to one of our units; resuscitation, minor injuries, major injuries or ambulatory emergency care. We also have a clinical decisions unit for patients who need more care but don't need to be admitted to hospital. Within these units we are able to access all other hospital departments to offer medical and surgical assessments and urgent treatment.

There is an operational standard in place for A&E services, where 95% of people attending any A&E department should be seen, diagnosed and treated within four hours of arrival.

Where are we?

Our emergency department is based at Southampton General Hospital. Find maps, parking and public transport information in the our hospitals section.

Emergency ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles are now the only vehicles permitted to use the access road into the emergency department which is situated opposite the eye unit.

All other vehicles that require access to the emergency department, including cars, taxis and patient transport, are to use the drop-off bays outside of the North Wing entrance of the hospital – this should be accessed via the main site entrance from Tremona Road. The nearest car park to the emergency department is the main multi-storey (orange car park). 

All of the access routes are available to view on our site map.

For any further information about your local NHS primary care services such as GPs and out-of-hours treatment, please visit the NHS website.