Accident & Emergency negligence definitions


The medical language associated with Accident and Emergency negligence can be technical. We have identified some of the key terms in use every day in relation to A&E negligence:


Accident & Emergency department

An Accident and Emergency department is a medical treatment facility which provides acute care to patients. An appointment is not required. Patients can self-refer, although some are brought in by ambulance. Also known as an Emergency Department, Casualty or Emergency Room.


Acute describes an illness or disease with a rapid onset, or short course. This is in contrast to chronic conditions. The related medical specialty is 'acute medicine'.


Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a neurological condition caused by compression of the nerves causing symptoms which can include bladder and/or bowel dysfunction, reduced sensation in the saddle area and sexual dysfunction.


Chronic describes a condition or disease that is persistent or long-lasting in its effects.



An examination is the process by which a medical professional investigates the body of a patient for signs of disease.



A fracture is a break to a bone.



Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Minor Injuries Unit

A Minor Injuries Unit is a hospital department largely staffed by emergency nurse practitioners who treat minor injuries.


NHS 111

NHS 111 is a telephone advice service designed to make it easier for patients to access local NHS healthcare services, particularly out of hours. It can be used when medical help is needed but it is not a 999 emergency.


Out of hours

Out of hours, in the medical context, is usually defined as 18.30 - 08.00 on weekdays and all weekend and bank holidays.


Patient history

The term patient history refers to information obtained by a medical professional, by asking the patient (or someone accompanying them) questions, with the aim of reaching a possible diagnosis.



Sepsis is a life threatening illness caused by the body over-reacting to an infection. Also known as blood poisoning.



A tendon is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone, for instance, the achilles tendon.


Urgent Care Centre

An Urgent Care Centre is a facility which provides medical care, generally situated outside of a hospital's Accident & Emergency department, and usually with no appointment being required. These centres primarily treat patients who require immediate care but their condition is not serious enough to require the Accident & Emergency department.


Walk-in Centre

A Walk-in Centre is a facility usually managed by nurses, again with no need for an appointment. 

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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