Emergency department


A&E departments are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat people with serious and life threatening emergencies.

Routine testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C

From April 4, 2022, all patients over the age of 16 years who visit a London emergency department and require a blood test, will be tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C.

We already screen for several infections or conditions when we take your blood, and these additional checks are now part of our routine screening programme at the Royal Free Hospital and Barnet Hospital.

This is in line with guidance from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Public Health England and NHS England and is part of the government’s commitment to reducing HIV transmission to zero by 2030.

Early diagnosis of blood-borne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and C means people can access the treatment they need sooner and expect to live long and healthy lives.

Many people living with HIV do not know they have the virus as it can take years for symptoms to develop. By testing in this way, treatment can be given sooner and prevent the virus from being passed on.

If you do not wish to be screened for these conditions when you attend one of our emergency departments, please let a member of staff know. This will not affect the care you receive from us.

For more information on routine testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C in our emergency departments, please see our patient leaflet which is available in ArabicEnglish, English in braille, English large print, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian. English large print and English in braille are available on request from the department. 

Choosing the right service

If you would like professional advice regarding your health, the NHS provides a range of services to help you get well. Make sure you choose the right service for you.

Our emergency departments

The trust has two emergency department s(also known as A&E and the ED), one at Barnet Hospital and one at Royal Free Hospital

The EDs provide treatment for those aged 18 and over who require immediate care, either as a result of an accident or in a medical or surgical emergency. The departments are staffed by skilled medical and nursing staff with specific training in emergency care 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Patients can access these services either directly, by GP referral or, if necessary, by ambulance.

As well as providing emergency care for adults, Barnet Hospital has a dedicated children and young people's ED staffed by paediatric consultants and nurses.

We aim to provide all relevant services in a timely manner and we constantly strive to meet the Government's aim to have all treatment provided within four hours. Occasionally we are extremely busy and may not manage this. If this occurs we ask for your understanding and patience. We will always treat patients in the order of clinical need.

Our urgent care centres

Urgent care centres treat urgent but not life-threatening injuries and illnesses such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings.

The urgent care centre at Chase Farm Hospital is open 8am to 10pm every day, staffed by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners. Find out more.

Other local urgent and emergency care providers

Our services may not be the closest to you. Take a look at our list of local urgent and emergency care providers for alternative services that you may wish to consider. 


Do you have an appointment?

Find your ward

  • Barnet Hospital

    Wellhouse Lane 
    EN5 3DJ

    Patient and GP enquiries: 0845 111 4000

    Urgent care: 020 8216 4600

    Note: more information about the children and young people's emergency department can be found here.

  • Royal Free Hospital

    Pond Street
    NW3 2QG 
    Tel: 020 7794 0500

    Note: more information about the children and young people's emergency department can be found here.


Referral details

Patients can access these services either directly as a walk in, by GP referral or by ambulance. If attending Barnet Hospital or the Royal Free Hospital with minor injury or illness, please present to the emergency department (formerly called A&E) where you will be assessed and transferred to an urgent care centre if appropriate.

Once patients have been assessed their care will be prioritised according to their clinical need. They will be directed to the most appropriate team for their care.

Please note that the Marlborough sexual health clinic at the Royal Free Hospital is open daily and is more likely to be appropriate for sexual health problems.

We do not deal with dental emergencies - you should contact your own dentist or visit NHS Choices to find your nearest emergency dentist.

If a patient is not fluent in English it is very helpful if a friend or a member of the family can act as an interpreter for them.

The Team