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Patients & Visitors

Emergency Department / A&E


Patients in A&E

  1. Help us to help you
  2. Check in
  3. Triage
  4. Waiting for Treatment
  5. Other Medical Practitioners
  6. Code of Behaviour
  7. Safe Guarding Valuables

Help us to help you

To help the staff to assess and treat you, please tell them about:

  • Any previous health problems you have had
  • All drugs and treatments you are currently using
  • Allergies 
  • Any recent overseas trips
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding    
  • Any other facts you think they should know about

Check in

On arrival in the emergency department you will be asked to go to the reception desk to provide our reception staff with your address details which will enable us to book you onto our computer system.

This enables us to provide your GP with a letter summarising your attendance and also to access stored helpful information such as previous A&E notes, ECGs or notes on patients with specialist medical conditions.

Patients who arrive by ambulance or are very unwell will have their details logged on by the ambulance staff, though if relatives are accompanying the patient we will often ask them to provide the details as this enables the ambulance staff to assist in the immediate care of the patient


Your treatment starts as soon as you step into the Emergency Department (A&E). On arrival, you see a specialist emergency nurse called the triage nurse. The triage nurse assesses how serious your condition is.

This is a very important first step in the treatment process and ensures that even in a large department with many separate treatment areas we can ensure the most unwell patients with life threatening conditions are seen promptly.

Please tell the triage nurse if you are in pain as we are always able to provide some pain relief while you are waiting to be seen.

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Waiting for treatment

After seeing the triage nurse, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room. The waiting time depends on how busy the department is at the time, and the number of patients with life threatening conditions.

Sometimes the waiting area can seem quiet, but this doesn't mean the A&E is quiet - the most sick patients will enter through the separate ambulance entrance and be taken straight into the resuscitation or high care area - understandably neither of these are visible from the waiting room.

We understand that being in the A&E can be stressful and waiting can be frustrating.  Please be assured that we take the best possible care of all our patients and do our best to keep your wait to a minimum and make you comfortable. If you feel your condition has changed please let the reception staff or triage nurse know.

Other medical practitioners

As part of your assessment it may become apparent that your care is best provided by another healthcare professional, this is particularly the case for problems which have been occurring for a significant period of time or have already discussed with your GP.

If this is the case we may arrange a specific appointment with your GP or our on site out of hours general practitioner service - this is done to provide the best level of care for all patients and to enable the treatment of patients who would otherwise have a long wait time while more acute cases are seen.

Code of behaviour

A code of behaviour exists to ensure a safe and friendly environment for patients, visitors and staff. No acts of violence, swearing, threats or verbal abuse towards another patient, relative or staff member are allowed. An initial warning is given, but if the behaviour carries on, the staff, security or the police will ask the person to leave.

Safe guarding valuables

It is best to ask a friend or relative to look after your valuables while you are being treated in the A&E. Despite efforts by hospital staff, theft remains an issue. The hospital will only take responsibility for items that have been formally receipted for safekeeping by security.

Also see:

Other Sources of Information

Map of Hospital Location in Bath

RUH site map

Location of Emergency Department on RUH site

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