Our Services

The Emergency Department at Macclesfield Hospital

What is an Emergency Department?

The Emergency Department (traditionally known as Accident and Emergency) at Macclesfield Hospital is open around the clock, every day of the year. We are a team of highly skilled nurses, doctors and other health professionals and our role is the rapid assessment and treatment of serious illness and injury. We work closely with the ambulance service and specialist teams both within the hospital and in the community to ensure that we provide the right care, at the right time. We also work closely with other hospitals within the North West to ensure that patients who require specialist treatment for certain conditions – heart attacks, strokes, major trauma – are rapidly transferred to dedicated facilities quickly and safely.

We see in excess of 52,000 patients per year, many of whom are frail elderly patients. We also assess and manage patients with mental health or alcohol problems, and we use additional staff with particular skills in these areas to ensure that we provide the very best care that we can.

For all patients who use our service, we strive to be compassionate, open, honest and accountable, and we welcome feedback on how we perform. We use that feedback to continually improve the care that we give. 

When to attend the Emergency Department

Although we are skilled in the management of medical emergencies, we recognise that there are times when you may be unsure where to seek help, and for that reason, everyone who attends our Department will be advised on the best course of action for them, in order to allow us to help you get the help and care you need, as quickly as you can. This may mean that we advise you to seek help from your own GP, or from a pharmacist, or from another source. Wherever we can, we will then help you to access that care.

We have an Out of Hours GP Centre alongside our Emergency Department, and outside of the opening hours of your own GP we may arrange for you to receive the care you need in that centre.

Our assessment staff are trained to spot any symptoms and signs that might suggest the need for immediate treatment within the Emergency Department. Whether you arrive on foot, in the car or by ambulance, we will assess you to ensure that you don’t have any of those symptoms and signs. If you do, we will transfer you through to our well-equipped care facilities within the Emergency Department and provide you with the immediate care that you need.

Minor injuries service

If our assessment reveals that you have an injury that can be dealt with straightforwardly, then you will be cares for by our specially-trained and experienced emergency nurse practitioners who have particular expertise in caring for the following problems:

  • Minor burns
  • Minor wounds
  • Sprains
  • Simple fractures ( break) of a bone
  • Removal of splinters
  • Minor head injuries

Your nurse practitioner will assess you, perform any necessary investigations – usually simply an x-ray – and treat the injury for you. Before you leave, he or she will ensure that appropriate follow-up arrangements have been made for you, and that you understand what they are and are happy with them.

What happens when I arrive at the Emergency Department?

You will be seen by an experienced Emergency Department nurse who will quickly assess your condition to decide both how severe your illness or injury is, and the most appropriate way to care for you from that point onwards. This will be discussed with you, and we will then attend to you as quickly as we can, based on the severity of your condition.

A receptionist will take details of your name, address and GP. It is vital that we take accurate patient details so that we can access your hospital and community records if necessary to plan your care, and that we can give accurate information to the laboratories if we need to take any blood or other samples. Your information is confidential, and we fully comply with date protection legislation.

 
We have a seated area, trolley areas and resuscitation areas, as well as a dedicated quieter area where children are cared for, to ensure that their distress in having to be in an Emergency Department is kept to a minimum.

Who will I see in the department?

All our staff wear an ID badge stating their name and position. If you are not sure who they are, please feel free to ask them. Staff will introduce themselves, and we commit to treating all patients with kindness, courtesy and compassion.
 
The Emergency Department consists of a team of different people all working together to provide you with a high quality of care. Staff wear a range of uniforms, and although it can be confusing to remember what each different uniform colour means, staff ID badges clearly state that person’s role within the team.

View our who's who section

What tests might I need in the Emergency Department?

We use a range of blood tests, x-rays and scans to help us care for you. Your nurse practitioner or doctor will explain what tests he or she thinks is necessary and will order these tests for you. We will share the results of these tests with you as part of the discussion about the best way to plan your care. The vast majority of the tests you might need will be done whilst you are in our Department.

Sometimes after these tests, we may need to liaise with other hospitals to decide what the best care is for you. We have close links with neurosurgical units, plastic surgery and burns teams, vascular surgeons and other services. If we need to discuss your care with these specialist units, we will tell you why, and clearly explain what the outcome of those discussions has been and what we need to do next.

If you need to come into hospital, we will explain to you why that is, and ensure you are clear about what is happening. We will ensure that any close relatives, friends or next of kin are informed but only if you are happy for us to do so.

Children in the Emergency Department

We understand that the Emergency Department can be frightening for a child, and we have quieter, separate areas with toys, books and DVDs just for younger patients. We are also very used to the ways in which small children and babies become poorly, and are trained to spot these subtle signs and act upon them quickly. We are also fully compliant with relevant safeguarding legislation and training, and are able to support you if you feel there are social or domestic challenges which you would like help with. We do this, as with all other aspects of our work, in a completely confidential manner.
 

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