Acute and Emergency Medicine is made up of various departments including the Emergency Department (ED), Acute Medical Unit (AMU) and Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC).

Emergency Department (ED)

The ED at Aintree University Hospital is the major trauma centre for the region, treating patients who have suffered life-threatening injuries. We have specialised pathways for stroke, vascular, ear, nose and throat, maxillofacial and orthopaedics.

On arrival, you will be booked into ED, your care will be prioritised based on the outcome of your initial assessment. 

All patients that come to our ED will be seen and assessed by a senior nurse, who will prioritise your care and decide which area of the department best suits your treatment needs. Patients aren't always seen in order of their arrival at the Emergency Department. Other people may take priority to you, and therefore you may have to wait to be seen.

Acute Medical Unit (AMU)

The unit is a dedicated space for acute medical patients and provides diagnostics and care. We also have an AMU High Care facility which delivers enhanced monitoring and nursing supervision to provide higher level treatment. The facility accepts patients who are acutely unwell, at risk of deteriorating or who require continual nursing care which cannot be provided in a ward environment. 

Patients can access AMU through ED, GP or via a community health professional referral.

Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC)

This unit provides assessment and treatment for patients who will not need admission to hospital.

ED may not be the most suitable place to receive treatment. A list of alternatives are below: 

NHS 111 - for non-emergencies

You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency or life threatening.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You can find out more about NHS 111 here.


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 Find a pharmacy - NHS.

Opening times of pharmacies in the region that have been directed to be open during some hours on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note that these are not the only pharmacies that will be operating over the bank holidays - you can search for your nearest pharmacy and find out their latest opening times at:

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  Find a GP - NHS.

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.

Local walk-in centres

Your local walk-in centres provide a team of highly skilled staff who can provide advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. They can provide care for broken bones, stomach pain, wound dressing, vomiting and diarrhoea, skin infections and rashes, and coughs and colds. 

A list of local walk-in centres can be found here


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

Dental emergencies

Access to urgent dental care at Liverpool University Dental Hospital is by appointment only. 

Please call NHS England’s regional emergency dental triage service on 0161 476 9651 should you require an emergency dental appointment.

You will then be directed to the nearest available Emergency Dental Provider - this may include the Liverpool University Dental Hospital or a local dental practice.

By exception, patients who attend with a visible facial swelling, severe bleeding or dental trauma should report to the reception team and your case will be discussed with a member of the clinical team.

Patients without a regular dentist can register with an NHS dentist via Find a dentist - NHS, or alternatively can contact the above specified number should an emergency appointment be required.

Sexual health

If you have a sexual health emergency, you have options.

Axess Sexual Health, the free NHS sexual health service in Merseyside and Cheshire East, has many clinic locations which allow you to walk-in under emergency criteria. 

If you require emergency contraception, you can access this by visiting a walk-in Axess clinic. Some local pharmacies also offer emergency contraception. We recommend that you call your pharmacy before visiting to see if they can provide this. 

For more information on clinic locations, opening times, and emergency criteria, visit Axess Clinic.

Optical emergencies 

Visit the Emergency Eye Clinic for eye accidents, emergencies, and sight threatening conditions. 

Located on the lower ground floor of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the Emergency Eye Clinic is open, Monday to Sunday, 8am-8pm. You can contact the clinic on 0151 706 3949.

You can attend without an appointment and will be triaged by the senior nursing team. Following this consultation, you will be referred to a specialist service or discharged, if appropriate.

Please note - more serious cases will be prioritised, and at busy times you may have to wait to see a nurse or doctor.

For ophthalmic emergencies, 8pm-8am, please go to ED Department at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Mental health

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust offer 24-hour advice, support and assessment from trained professionals. For anyone 16 and over living in Liverpool and Sefton, please call 0800 145 6570. For all ages living Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington, please call 0800 051 1508. If you live outside these areas, please find your local mental health crisis line here.

More information

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a research active trust, supporting and facilitating new innovative ways of providing healthcare to improve patient experience and outcomes. To find out about current research opportunities or register for future studies, please visit the Acute and Emergency Care Research page.