Coming to the Emergency Department (A&E) and Urgent Treatment Centre


When to come to A&E at Colchester or Ipswich Hospital

Colchester and Ipswich hospitals’ A&E departments and the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Colchester Hospital (Opens in a new window) are here for 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.

Coming to A&E

Patients and visitors attending A&E departments and urgent treatment centres will be asked to wear a surgical face mask:

  • If you are a patient with suspected or confirmed contagious respiratory infection, or if you are a visitor providing personal care (such as feeding or dressing) to such a patient
  • If you are immunosuppressed and clinical staff advise face masks are worn for additional protection
  • In some other circumstances where the clinical staff advise wearing masks because of infection risks

Patients can be accompanied by two visitors in our waiting rooms, majors area and resuscitation area. When the department is exceptionally busy, teams may need to ask visitors to leave temporarily to make space for patients.

Both parents can accompany paediatric patients.

Help us stop the spread of infections

ESNEFT is asking everyone to help stop the spread transmissible infections by:

  • washing your hands regularly, especially before and after your visit
  • wearing a surgical face mask covering your nose and mouth in our A&E departments and urgent treatment centres when a member of staff asks you to do so
  • keep an arm’s length distance from staff and other patients where you can
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