Ambulatory Care Centre
Our Ambulatory Care Centre offers same day emergency care to patients so that they can be cared for without the need for an admission to hospital.
Patients who are referred to Ambulatory Care are assessed, diagnosed, treated and are able to go home the same day, without needing to stay in hospital overnight.
We offer treatment for both surgical and medical conditions.
Our Ambulatory Care Centre offers easy access to diagnostic tests, hospital consultants and specialist staff all in one place. It is a way of providing safe care designed around the needs of the patients.
The centre is staffed by consultants, Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs), nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants.
What can I expect when I come to Ambulatory Care?
You may have been redirected to us from the Emergency Department or directly referred by your GP or 111. You may have also been referred by one of our hospital wards after an inpatient stay.
Some patients who attend the Emergency Department when the Ambulatory Care Centre is closed may be asked to attend the next working day or other appropriate time. This is so that you can receive all the care and treatment you need in one day from one team without having to stay in hospital.
When you arrive
When you arrive please make yourself known to reception or another member of staff and you will be booked in. A member of staff will then introduce themselves and explain what will happen next.
Your care will be overseen by one of our consultants. You may not be seen by them personally, but by a member of their team. As part of your treatment, you may also need to go to other departments in the hospital for further investigations. Please be prepared to wait or come back as necessary for further appointments. You may also need to be examined, so please wear comfortable clothes.
We give each patient individual attention to meet their needs. Different clinics are running at the same time, so other patients may be seen ahead of you. We try to keep to time but sometimes we also need to see other patients in emergency situations, so please bear with us.
One of our nursing team will do an initial assessment, asking you about your symptoms and the background to your illness. One of our Advanced Clinical Practitioners or doctors will then see you and may order more diagnostic tests.
Your clinical team may want to do or order a range of diagnostic tests. These include X-rays, blood tests and/or scans. Once these investigations have been done you may be asked to wait until the results are available. We try to keep your stay as short as possible, but if we are particularly busy you may have to wait before the clinician is ready to see you.
Once the results from your tests are known, the clinical team will create a treatment plan for you, and your treatment usually begins in the Ambulatory Care Centre. Sometimes we need to observe patients for a few hours before we are confident that you are well enough to go home.
We will let you know when your care is complete and that you can go home. Our staff will let you know the next steps for your treatment before you leave. Sometimes we may ask you to return for further follow-up appointments for continued treatment or review. Where possible we make arrangements for you to continue any treatment needed at home. This means that you may receive some of your healthcare at home from our community staff.
If you have any queries or concerns after you leave Ambulatory Care, please call us or your GP to discuss.
While you are waiting for results
While you are waiting for diagnostic tests results or a specialist review, you may wish to leave the Ambulatory Care Centre for a short time. Within the main hospital there is a shop, café, restaurant, pharmacy and prayer rooms.
Please tell a member of staff when you are leaving the unit and make sure that they have your contact details.
What should I bring with me?
- Please bring any paperwork you were given by your GP, which may help us in providing the right care
- In the current climate please be prepared to wear a face mask
- We would prefer you to attend on your own if at all possible although one visitor may accompany you
- Please bring a list of medications that you are currently taking
- You might want to bring something to eat and drink with you. There are shops and cafes in the main hospital and nearby should you wish to buy food on the day
- You might also want to bring something to read, or a device with headphones. The hospital does have free WiFi you can access. Please remember that it is your responsibility to keep your device safe. The hospital cannot take responsibility for devices that are lost or stolen.
Outside of these hours, patients will be directed to the Emergency Department.
University Hospital Lewisham
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 6pm
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm.
The Ambulatory Care Centre at University Hospital Lewisham is next to the main building on Lewisham High Street and has its own entrance.
Telephone: 020 8333 3000 - extension 33302
The Ambulatory Care Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital is located within the main hospital building, opposite Wards 1 and 2.
Telephone: 020 8836 6000 - extension 25032 / 24916.