Alternatives to Emergency Department (A&E)

In some circumstances, our Emergency Department may not be the most appropriate place to receive treatment. If you become unwell make sure you choose the right healthcare service to receive treatment.

Alternative services that the Trust offer are: 

Urgent Treatment Centres

Urgent Treatment Centres can treat:

  • minor head injuries
  • suspected broken bones and fractures
  • sprains
  • cuts and scrapes
  • bites
  • eye problems
  • rising temperatures

We have two of these, one in Blackburn and one in Burnley.

On arrival at one of the Urgent Treatment Centres (Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and Burnley General Teaching Hospital) all self-presenting patients aged 5 and over will complete an e-assessment using the fixed iPad at the entrance.

We want to make sure each patient gets the right service to meet their needs and help people get seen as quickly as possible. This may result in them receiving an appointment with another service, which means that some patients will not need to wait in the Urgent Treatment Centre.

After answering a series of clinical questions, the patient will be informed whether they need an immediate assessment (triage) or appointment.

If they need an appointment, that may take place at the hospital or with another health provider, including:

  • Urgent Treatment Centre appointment – given by the Receptionist, this may be on the same day or day after in one of our two Urgent Treatment Centres and you will be able to leave and return later
  • Minor Injuries Unit appointment- if suitable you may be offered an appointment in our Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington Victoria Hospital
  • Community Pharmacy Consultant Service – patients can choose to attend a local Pharmacy in person or receive a telephone call from this service and leave our department
  • Emergency Dental Service  – patients can leave our service and will receive a telephone call within 60 minutes from the Emergency Dental Service
  • Primary Care Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) – patients can leave our service and will receive a telephone call from a primary care clinician within 60 minutes
  • Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit (AECU) - Patients may be directed from the iPad direct to this service, patient information will be given at reception. This service is within the hospital at Royal Blackburn

Minor Injuries Units

Minor Injuries Units can treat:

  • sprains and strains

  • broken bones

  • wound infections

  • minor burns and scalds

  • minor head injuries

  • insect and animal bites

  • minor eye injuries

  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest

Your nearest one is at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital and there is also one in Rossendale.

On arrival at one of the Minor Injuries Units all self-presenting patients aged 5 and over will complete an online assessment using the NHS Digital ED Streaming Tool.

They will answer a series of clinical questions via the tool using a fixed iPad at the entrance to the department.  Once completed, the Streamer Tool will identify if the patient needs an immediate assessment (triage) or can be booked into an appointment to meet their clinical needs.

Other services

GP services

Your family doctor provides general medical care, prescriptions and referral to a specialist or hospital clinic. A list of GPs can be found at NHS Choices. To access the GP Out of Hours Service contact your local GP and listen to their answerphone message which will give instructions how to access this service.


Your local Pharmacist is trained to offer advice about how to treat everyday medical problems and will advise if your symptoms mean that you should seek further medical help. Your can find a local pharmacist and other healthcare providers at NHS Choices.

NHS 111 - for non-emergencies 

You can visit the website or call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Find out more on their website or within their leaflet

Self Care

With the right advice and information plus a well stocked medicine cabinet lots of minor ailments can be treated or prevented effectively.