Emergency Department at the Downe Hospital

The Emergency Department operates from 8am - 8pm (Monday to Friday) and is closed at weekends. The entrance is at the front of the hospital, clearly marked and to the right of the main doors.

From 8pm – 8am (Monday-Friday), the Emergency Department closes and the enhanced GP Out of Hours service, which is co-located, takes over.  Patients are advised to telephone first to make sure appropriate care is accessed.. The number is (028) 9260 2204

The Emergency Department is closed Saturday and Sunday and patients are advised to attend the Minor Injuries Unit or telephone the GP Out of Hours number for advice.

Access is by the same entrance, clearly marked and to the right of the main entrance.

Medical patients can be admitted to the Downe Hospital by doctors staffing the Out of Hours service.

If you are seriously ill, phone 999 for an ambulance, as normal. The ambulance will take you to the Ulster, or other appropriate hospital.

If you have a sick child, phone the GP Out of Hours number. If the child is seriously ill, he or she may be transferred to hospital in Belfast.


When do I come to the Emergency Department?

Generally you should go to the emergency department only in emergencies such as:

  •  unconsciousness 
  •  a suspected stroke 
  •  heavy blood loss 
  •  suspected broken bones 
  •  a deep wound such as a stab wound 
  •  a suspected heart attack 
  •  difficulty in breathing 
  •  severe burns 
  •  a severe allergic reaction

You may be able to treat minor illnesses or injuries such as sprains, strains, insect stings and cuts and grazes yourself .

Your local pharmacist can give advice for treating common illnesses and the best medicines to use

Visiting your GP for medical advice, examinations or an illness or injury that require prescriptions

If you are unsure on whether you should come to the Emergency Department click here to check the Choose Well guide to find the appropriate service for you.


What happens at the Emergency Department?

Once you're at the Emergency Department, you will give your details to a receptionist. Then, within a short time, a nurse will triage you, that means assess the nature of your injury/complaint and determine how urgent it is. .You will then be categorised into one of five groups. It is essential that this system is in place to ensure that patients are seen in order of clinical need, rather than in time of attendance.

You may have to wait a short time before you are seen by the doctor. This will depend on how busy the Department is and how serious the other patients’ conditions are.

As well as timely care, our aim is to ensure that services are safe, of a high quality and improve the outcomes for our patients.