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*UPDATED* Hospital visiting changes, home testing kits, Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.

Keep the Emergency Department for emergencies

We are urging you to use your health services wisely every day of the year.

A survey of our adult Emergency Departments (EDs) has shown that many people are presenting with minor illness or injury.

Based on recent activity, our medics have identified a list of the Top Ten illnesses that do not need a trip to ED. Instead, you should seek advice or treatment from either


The top ten includes


"Please - only use the emergency department when it is an emergency"

Alastair Ireland, Emergency Department Clinical Director at Glasgow Royal Infirmary says: “We are all aware of what a precious resource our NHS is. We need to use it wisely, and that is particularly important in Winter.

“We’ve come up with a list to give guidance on when it’s correct to seek emergency treatment and when it’s not. We hope it means that you can seek advice from the correct place. This means you'll be treated quicker, allowing us to concentrate on what we should be treating – real emergencies.

We have dedicated, nurse-led Minor Injury Units (MIUs) at Stobhill, the New Victoria and Vale of Leven Hospitals. In these 100% of patients are usually seen and treated within four hours.

MIUs can treat

  • cuts and grazes
  • insect bites
  • minor burns
  • sprains and strains
  • limb injuries like a broken ankle
  • broken wrist 
  • foreign bodies in ears or up noses.

They are unable to treat more serious conditions such as

  • major injuries
  • poisoning
  • fever
  • breathing difficulties
  • stomach pains
  • vomiting or diarrhoea
  • rashes or allergic reactions.

Kevin Hill, our Director of Women and Children’s Services says “Waiting times at the Royal Hospital for Children are low. We see, treat and admit or discharge between 97%-99% of patients within four hours. Our staff are rightly proud of this remarkable record.

“On our busiest day yet – 12 November 2018 - we saw 270 patients in the Children’s ED, compared to a usual day when we see less than 200. Of those, 145 were suffering from a minor illness which could have been treated either by an Out of Hours GP, pharmacist or with advice from NHS 24 or using online information from NHS Inform. That's 54% of those treated who could have been dealt with elsewhere.

“There are a range of NHS experts who are available to help when your child is ill or injured. Our Emergency Department plays an important role in that but please - only use the emergency department when it is an emergency.”

Last Updated: 22 September 2020