Skip navigation Home Patients & visitors Our services Search Help Contact us Terms and conditions Accessibitity Page
You are here:

About us

Alternatives to A&E

Residents are reminded of alternatives to A&E, which should only be used in an emergency for life-threatening injuries or serious illness.

There is a range of walk-in and minor injuries units across the county, and many patients will be seen sooner than in A&E departments.

A full list of minor injuries units can be found here.

Accessing the right care in the right place supports hospitals to provide life-saving emergency care by ensuring only those that need A&E do so.

Dr Gary Cumberbatch, consultant in emergency medicine at Poole Hospital, said: “We are encouraging people to make sure they choose the right service when they need care.

"There are many alternatives to A&E where peoples’ health needs may be met more appropriately, and which could offer faster access to care.”

The public is also reminded about responsible visiting in order to help restrict the spread of illnesses like norovirus.

Other alternatives to A&E include:

  • Seeing your doctor: for medical advice, prescriptions and examinations and for persistent illness. You should be able to get an emergency appointment with your surgery as soon as possible, Monday to Friday.
  • GP out of hours service: if your local practice is closed, listen to the answerphone message which should advise you how to contact out of hours services. Advice can also be sought by calling 111 (see below).
  • NHS 111:  if you are unsure of your symptoms and want expert advice, dial 111. The service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the call is free. You will be assessed and advised on the best course of action to take and whether or not you need to seek professional help.
  • Pharmacy: pharmacies offer more than just prescriptions. They can advise on bugs and viruses, coughs and colds, aches and pains, tummy upsets and allergies.


Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

© Copyright Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 2018.

Designed and developed by Merchant Marketing Group.