Royal Stoke A&E

Royal Stoke University Hospital is a regional centre for emergency and major trauma care.

We are here for people in need of highly-specialised emergency care when time matters and lives are saved thanks to the skill, experience and commitment of our teams.

Our Emergency Department is one of the busiest in the country which regularly sees 400 or more patients per day.

Only come to our ED at Royal Stoke Hospital if it's for serious, life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention such as persistent severe chest pain, loss of consciousness, acute confused state, severe blood loss, serious burns, broken bones, suspected stroke.

For non-emergencies, there are a variety of appropriate and timely services for patients who require urgent and emergency care which is not life threatening and will be able to help resolve your issue much quicker than ED which can be busy and subject to long waits.

Where for Care?

You should only call 999 or visit the ED in a real emergency.

What to expect in the Emergency Department?


Unless you arrive by ambulance then when you arrive at A&E you will be asked to register at reception where you will be asked for a number of details including your personal information, GP details and why you have attended the emergency department.  

Patients are seen in order of priority not time of arrival. We aim to see all patients within four hours however the department can sometimes be extremely busy so please be patient as we work to assess and treat everyone.

Everyone is assessed on clinical need so people will not always been seen in the order that they arrive.

During periods of exceptional demand you may need to wait in our Ambulance Assessment Area or corridor. You will be cared for by a dedicated nurse at all times so ask them for help if you have any concerns.

We see people in order of urgency and people who are seriously ill or injured, maybe taken directly to resuscitation or our majors department before you are seen.

Initial assessment 

An experienced nurse or doctor will see you and assess your condition before directing you to the appropriate area of the department. At this point you may be discharged with advice and/or medication and treatment if required. We aim to make this assessment within 15 minutes.


Minor injuries and illnesses will be treated in our Minors area and more serious complaints will be seen in our Majors or Resuscitation areas. All children under the age of 18 will be sent directly to our Children's A&E. In all these areas you may be seen and treated by a doctor, an Emergency Nurse Practitioner or an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Please remember that waiting times can differ between treatment areas and specialists, so other people may be called more quickly than you.

Minors – provides assessment and diagnosis followed by referral or treatments to all patients attending with minor injuries.

Majors - all patients attending with moderate to serious health complaints will be assessed and diagnosed in majors followed by referral or treatment. Patients who are referred to this area of care can be unstable, unable to mobilise, require immediate treatment or medication and have been assessed by the triage nurse as suitable for this service.

Resus – the resuscitation area is used for the treatment of trauma victims, those requiring treatment for life threatening illness or injury and those who require direct monitoring and immediate life/limb saving interventions.

Patients arrive by helicopter as well as by ambulance. The helipad is situated immediately outside the doors of the Resus area.

Support in this area is also from critical care staff, stroke services and all specialities within the hospital.

Clinical Decisions Unit - a dedicated area patients can access while waiting for further tests and investigations to be completed or for mobility/physiotherapy assessments.

Discharge or admission

You will either be discharged from the department or admitted to the hospital.

Discharged patients will leave with advice and/or medication and treatment with a letter being sent to your GP outlining what has happened or if any follow up is required.

If it is decided that you require further treatment you may be admitted to the hospital. You will be referred to a relevant specialist team who will take over your care.

If you need to be admitted to the hospital for further treatment or investigation the emergency department staff will liaise with the appropriate inpatient team to ensure your admission is as smooth as possible. Alternatively, staff may arrange for you to be seen in an appropriate outpatient clinic at another time.

Waiting Times

Our aim is to see all patients within four hours in the department but at peak times of demand, you may be required to wait to be assessed or triaged while we see people with serious illness or injury.

During periods of exceptional demand you may need to wait in our Ambulance Assessment Area or corridor. You will be cared for by a dedicated nurse at all times so ask them for help if you have any concerns.


Waiting, in any circumstances, is far from ideal and is not how we prefer to treat our patients but would like to reassure you that during these times patients receive appropriate levels of care and are continually reviewed.

Children's A&E at Royal Stoke

The children's emergency department is open seven days a week, 365 days of the year and can be accessed from the main waiting area in the Emergency Department.

In most situations children will be assessed, treated and discharged in Children's A&E. However a few will require a further period of assessment or treatment in the Children's Assessment Unit (CAU) which is linked directly or as an inpatient on one of the children's wards. As routine, information can be shared with your child's General Practitioner and school nurse or health visitor. Other services that can help your family may also be contacted.