Emergency Department

Hospital Emergency Departments treat and care for people with a serious injury or life-threatening condition. When you go for treatment, staff will assess your medical condition. They treat patients with a serious injury or life-threatening condition first. If you or someone near you has a life-threatening medical emergency, call 999 immediately or go to your nearest emergency department.

In the South Eastern Trust, emergency care services are provided across 3 sites:

  • Ulster Hospital, Dundonald
  • Lagan Valley Hospital (PHONE FIRST)


  • you should not go to an Emergency Department as an alternative to your GP
  • calling 999 for an ambulance does not get you to the top of an ED queue – patients are seen based on medical need, not who gets to the hospital first
HospitalOpening Times
Lagan Valley Hospital – PHONE FIRST Emergency DepartmentOpen Monday - Friday 8.00 am-6.00 pm

The Emergency Department is a PHONE FIRST SERVICE. ALL patients should call (028) 9260 4643 prior to attending. Patients will be assessed over the phone and offered an appointment at Lagan Valley Hospital Emergency Department or referred to a local pharmacy, GP or directed to an appropriate Emergency Department.
Ulster Hospital – Emergency DepartmentOpen 24 hours every day.

  • What happens at the Emergency Department?

    Once you arrive at the Emergency Department, please give your details to a receptionist. Within a short time, a nurse will triage you to assess the nature of your injury/complaint and determine how urgent it is. 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 period of time before you are seen by the doctor. This will depend on how busy the Department is and the seriousness of other patient’s conditions.

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

  • What are the 4 and 12 hour targets?

    Emergency Departments throughout the UK are monitored in line with two overarching Ministerial targets to ensure patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible.

    The 4 hour target – the South Eastern Trust aims to ensure that as many as possible of its emergency care patients are seen, treated and either admitted or discharged within four hours of their arrival in the department. The national target is 95%.

    The 12 hour target – the South Eastern Trust aims to ensure that none of its emergency care patients wait longer than 12 hours to be seen, treated and either admitted or discharged.

    Coming soon: more information on Unscheduled Care activity and waiting times in the South Eastern Trust.