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Accident and Emergency

What we do

Our department at the Alex is one of only five stand alone paediatric emergency departments in the UK.

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Every day around 70 to 120 children up to 16 years old with illness, injuries and mental health problems are seen and treated in our department.

Our department is staffed by a team of paediatric nurses, paediatric emergency nurse practitioners, consultant paediatricians, advanced paediatric nurse practitioners and junior doctors. We also have health care assistants, a mental health liaison team (0900-1800h), secretarial, administrative and reception staff, and domestic and portering staff.

What to expect on arrival

After registration your child will be assessed by a triage nurse who will determine the nature of your child’s illness or injury and how urgently they should be seen. All children are treated based on clinical priority and not arrival time.

Your child will then be seen by either a doctor, an advanced paediatric nurse practitioner or paediatric emergency nurse practitioner. Your child may be referred to the out of hours GP service which is situated close to the front entrance of the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Eastern Road. The GP service is staffed by experienced GPs who manage childhood illnesses on a daily basis.


We please ask that only one parent/carer attends with your child, and that you are wearing a face covering. This is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Watch our video on what other safety measures you can expect at A&E during your visit.

Primary Care Referrals

Primary care clinicians can refer a child or young person to the emergency department by sending them directly with a detailed referral letter. If the clinician would like to discuss the child or young person in advance, then they can contact call our dedicated GP hotline on 01273 523134.

Children with acute surgical or orthopaedic illness or injury should be referred to the Paediatric Surgery or Paediatric Orthopaedic teams who may be contacted via the hospital switchboard on 01273 696955.


Our department is on Level 6 of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital which is situated on the main campus of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Telephone: 01273 696955
Reception extension: 62364

Patient Leaflets

Please see some useful leaflets, these are in PDF format, please see our accessibility information if you require any support in viewing the documents.

Our patient videos:

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