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


  • 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 – Emergency DepartmentOpen Mon-Fri 8.00 am-8.00 pm
Ulster Hospital – Emergency DepartmentOpen 24 hours every day
Downe Hospital – Emergency DepartmentFrom 19 October 2020, a consultant-led Urgent Care Centre will open in the Downe Hospital’s Emergency Department. This will operate from 8am-6pm, Monday – Friday on an appointment only basis, with nurse-led minor injuries services continuing at weekends from 9am to 5pm. The telephone number for the Urgent Care Centre is (028) 4483 8091. Those contacting the service will be triaged and offered an appointment within the urgent care service or directed to the most appropriate service.
Ards Minor Injuries Unit – Minor Injury UnitOpen Mon-Fri 9.00 am-5.00 pm
Bangor Minor Injuries Unit – Minor Injury UnitCurrently closed due to COVID-19
Downe Hospital – Minor Injuries UnitSaturday - Sunday, 9am – 5pm, by an appointment only basis. The telephone number for Downe Hospital Minor Injuries Service is (028) 4483 8091. Those contacting the service will be given an appointment as appropriate.

  • 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.

Stretcher being loaded onto ambulance by two paramedics