Emergency Departments (A&E)

In life threatening illness or injury call 999

NHS Lothian has 3 Emergency Departments / A&Es.


The Emergency Department is not an appropriate destination if you are looking for a second opinion on an existing condition or for minor illnesses or if you have a minor injury.  In this instance you would be best suited attending your GP or visiting the Minor Injuries Clinic at the Western General Hospital.


You can contact NHS 24 on 111, which offers advice and information on how to look after yourself and treat common health problems.


The NHS Direct  website offers health advice and you can check your symptoms with their online self help guide.


What is an Emergency?


An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation.


Examples include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Heavy blood loss
  • Suspected broken bones
  • Deep wounds, such as stab wounds
  • Suspected heart attack
  • Difficulty in breathing

Please think carefully before using emergency services.


Patients attend the Emergency Department or A&E for many reasons; for example, accidents on the road, at work or at home. The Emergency Department or A&E also provides immediate care for patients who take unwell with a range of different acute medical and surgical conditions, for example a heart attack.


People who use emergency services for minor problems may prevent others with emergencies from getting immediate care.


Last Reviewed: 31/07/2015