Emergency Department

ext026-The Emergency Department (A&E) has seen significant change over the last few years. These changes are due in part to local developments in the delivery of unplanned care in the community in the shape of the Urgent Care Centres at Bunnyhill, Houghton and Washington.

All patients presenting at any element of the emergency care service are triaged using the standardised assessment tool and those who are deemed appropriate to receive care in the community or be fast-tracked to other wards/departments within the Trust (eg the Chest Pain Assessment Unit or the Acute Medical Unit) will be directed accordingly to the Resuscitation and Assessment Area.



The Emergency Department is sign posted form the Kayll Road Entrance and is situated on the main hospital site.

If accessing the department from the Chester Wing Outpatients entrance (entrance 8), follow the signs for the Emergency Department along the main corridor and turn right: again this is clearly signposted.


New ED

Work on the new Emergency Department at Sunderland Royal is progressing and to enable the further building works, members of the public attending the department will see some changes from Wednesday, 16 December 2015.

New Emergency Dept leaflet


Firstly, the department will now be known as the Emergency Department (ED) rather than Accident and Emergency (A&E).  This change reflects the way urgent care is now delivered across the city (and the rest of the country) in that non-life threatening/minor injuries and illnesses, including those as a result of an accident, should be treated at an Urgent Care Centre or receive advice by contacting NHS 111.  This means our Emergency Department staff are able to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and patients choosing to go to Urgent Care Centres are more likely to be seen quicker.


Secondly, a new temporary Emergency Department will open on 16 December to allow further construction of the rest of the new department.  This temporary department will have separate entrances for children, patients arriving by ambulance and self-presenting adults or GP adult referrals.

  • Ambulance/999 patients will be taken to the new Emergency Department Entrance (large glazed entrance) which is located to the right of the Main Entrance of the hospital.
  • Children should also present to the Emergency Department Entrance (large glazed entrance), located to the right of the Main Entrance of the hospital.
  • GP referrals, 111 ambulatory (walking) patients and those needing medical attention outside of GP and Urgent Care Centre opening hours must report to an alternative new reception point. To get to this new reception and waiting area, patients must enter the hospital by a new entrance which is accessed via a path behind Fracture Clinic and opposite the multi-storey car park. From here they should follow the signs to the NEW non-urgent EDR reception.  Please note the waiting area in this temporary facility is small and we would ask that those needing to be seen, wherever possible, are accompanied by only one family member or friend.

We appreciate that these temporary entrances may be confusing initially and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to our patients and the public however please bear with us as we improve our facilities.

We would ask that members of the public consider whether they really do need to attend the Emergency Department or whether they could be more appropriately assessed by an alternative service.  The NHS 111 service is available if urgent medical help or advice is needed and there are also a number of Urgent Care Centres available across the city.  These can be found at Pallion Health Centre, Bunnyhill, Houghton le Spring and Washington and are open Urgent Care Centres are Monday to Friday from 10am to 10pm and  from 8am to 10pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.  Click here for more information on Urgent Care Centre or visit the NHS Choices website for more information on choosing the appropriate service.

The Trust’s current department was built in 1978 and the new unit will help us handle the growing number of patients coming through the emergency system every day.  In the last ten years alone, the department has seen the number of attendances grow from around 97,600 in 1994 to 136,513 last year. The new department will result in a much improved environment for patients and for staff working in the unit. It is expected the build project will be over a 2 year period, with anticipated completion in early 2017. This is an exciting time for us as we begin the foundations of an acute hospital fit for the future.

A&E Clinical Quality Indicators

Please click here to see the Trust’s A&E Clinical Quality Indicator dashboard which shows performance relating to:

  • Unplanned re-attendance rate – Patients who return to A&E within seven days of the original attendance are classed as an unplanned re-attendance if they have not been specifically asked to re-attend.
  • Left without being see rate – Patients who have been registered but leave the department without waiting to be seen by a clinician.
  • Time to initial assessment – This applies only to patients who are brought in by ambulance and is measured from the time of arrival in the department to the time the patient has an assessment by the clinical team.
  • Time to treatment – This applies to all patients and is the time from arrival to seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner who will start the treatment for the patient’s condition.
  • Total time in the Accident & Emergency Department – This is measured from the time of arrival and registration on the hospital information system to the time the patient leaves the department to return home or to be admitted to a bed on one of the wards.



Clinical Director
Dr Martyn Farrer – 0191 565 6256 ext 41420

Directorate Manager
Tina Morrell – 0191 565 6256 ext 40073

Sue Lane – 0191 565 6256 bleep 52240