Emergency Department status

No matter how busy our Emergency Department is, the most seriously ill and injured patients will always be seen immediately.

Should I bring my child to the Emergency Department?

Not sure if your child is ill enough to attend the Emergency Department? This video may help with your decision.

What to expect when you arrive at the Emergency Department

Your child will be assessed by a triage nurse who will speak to you about the problem.

The triage nurse has advanced training to determine the urgency of your child’s problem and how quickly they need to be seen by an Emergency doctor.

Remember, the most seriously ill and critically injured children will always be seen immediately.

Based on the triage nurse assessment, if your child’s condition is determined to be less serious, you may be asked to wait until you are called to be seen by an Emergency doctor or nurse.

When your child is called by an Emergency doctor or nurse you will be taken to a bed or consulting room in the Emergency Department.

How busy is the RCH Emergency Department right now?

Everyone who attends the ED wants to be seen quickly and we will always try to complete your care as soon as we can.

Unfortunately, there are times when we are particularly busy, and significant waiting times can occur.

If your child has an urgent problem, you will always have a very short wait time, or may avoid the waiting room altogether.

We give priority to children with the most urgent healthcare needs.

If you are required to spend any length of time in the waiting room, this is because your child’s condition is less urgent. We appreciate this can be stressful and frustrating. We can often commence your child’s treatment and provide advice and information while you are waiting.

The picture below provides a real time guide to how busy we are:


Displaying current status. Last updated Tue, 21 May 2019 12:45AEST

Our status explained

NORMAL ACTIVITY Even during normal level of activity, our staff are often busy, and waiting times around an hour are common.
VERY BUSY As we get busier, the number of children in the waiting room increases and the time you may need to wait for treatment gets longer.
EXTREMELY BUSY When we are extremely busy, the waiting room gets crowded and some children may need to wait more than four hours to see the doctor.

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Useful links

Kids Health Info - The Kids Health Info fact sheets have been developed to help you learn more about health topics, medical conditions and the services available at The Royal Children's Hospital.