Coming to A&E and Urgent Treatment Centres


Colchester and Ipswich hospitals’ A&E departments and the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Colchester Hospital remain open to patients who need urgent and emergency help.

If you, or anyone you live with, has any symptoms of a serious illness or injury such as a heart attack, stroke or severe bleeding, call 999 or attend A&E.

If you have a health concern that’s not an emergency, but you’re thinking about coming to A&E, call NHS 111 first.

When you arrive at the Emergency Department you will be triaged in the usual way – regardless of COVID-19 and then you’ll be told where is best to go.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not accompany patients in our hospitals.

Coming to A&E (Accident & Emergency department)

  • You must still wear a surgical face mask in our A&E departments and urgent treatment centres unless you are medically exempt. If you cannot wear a surgical face mask, you will be offered a visor as an alternative
  • From Monday 19 September patients can be accompanied by two visitors in our waiting rooms, majors area and resuscitation area – providing the visitor is free of COVID-19 symptoms
  • Both parents can accompany paediatric patients
  • Visitors may be asked to wait elsewhere during the clinical consultation or while the patient goes to other departments, for example x-ray
  • If the patient is admitted to a hospital ward bed, visitors will be kindly asked to leave at that point and book a ward visit – see our general ward visiting guidance
  • At peak times, when the department is exceptionally busy with patients, teams may need to ask visitors to leave temporarily to make space for patients and prevent overcrowding
  • Carer responsibilities are supported across the Trust. See our visiting guidance for carers

Help us stop the spread

ESNEFT is asking everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • washing and sanitising your hands regularly, especially before and after your visit
  • wearing a surgical face mask covering your nose and mouth at all times in our A&E departments and urgent treatment centres
  • keep an arm’s length distance from staff and other patients where you can
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