Accident and Emergency (A&E)

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Accident and Emergency Visiting Professional Programme offers international clinicians exclusive insight and hands-on experience of one of the NHS’ busiest A&E departments.

Programme aims

The programme is aimed at those who wish to extend their experience in a leading A&E department and who wish to gain an understanding of the way this is practiced and organised within the NHS.

The programme aims to include:

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to visitors upon the end of their programme.

Who can apply

This programme is intended for non-U.K. doctors looking for exposure to a NHS emergency department.

Visitors can apply for an observership programme. Those wishing to apply must have GMC registration. You can apply for GMC registration directly through the main GMC website, alternatively The Royal College of Physicians run a medical training initiative which facilitates GMC registration and provides sponsorship for a Tier 5 visa. You can find out more about their Medical Training Initiative by visiting their website.

Programme duration

It is recommended to undertake a placement of a minimum of 12 weeks. You will get exposure to various areas in the department including our emergency medical unit. 

A&E service

We offer three distinct emergency department (A&E) services:

We see approximately 150,000 patients per year, making us one of the busiest emergency departments in London. We also see around 100 ambulances every day.

Emergency department (A&E)

Treating serious injuries, accidents or sudden illness

We aim to provide gold-standard emergency care and improved health outcomes for all our patients through education, research, and leadership development. *In 2016, the emergency department got an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission inspection.

We treat patients who have suffered a recent injury or accident or who have developed a sudden illness. All A&E departments use a priority system where the most seriously ill patients are seen first.

We may direct patients somewhere else if:

If a patient has a minor injury or illness, they will be directed to our Urgent Care Centre. This is staffed with GPs and emergency nurse practitioners.

If a patient has a more complex condition, they will be seen by one of our emergency doctors.

Specialty areas

If patients have been referred by their GP or another hospital to a particular team, they will have to register at A&E first. Although the team will be expecting them, they may not be able to see them immediately. 

Patients may be redirected to specialty services within our Trust such as:

St Thomas’ Emergency Floor development

The Trust has invested over £20 million to rebuild the A&E department at St Thomas’ and redesign the whole ‘pathway’ of emergency care for our patients. This work is currently due to complete in Spring 2018.

Facts and figures about the emergency department (A&E)

We have one of the NHS’s busiest A&E departments, with 150,000 attendances in 2015-16:

  • Over 400 patients a day in total
  • 185 patients a day seen for serious issues/conditions
  • Over 150 patients a day are seen in our Urgent Care Centre (UCC) which deals with urgent, but minor injuries and illnesses
  • 70 young patients a day are seen in children’s A&E105 ambulances a day
  • 27 patients a day are admitted to the Emergency Medical Unit (EMU)
  • A significant proportion of our patients are vulnerable – they may be homeless, have mental health issues, or drug/ alcohol addiction.

Urgent Care Centre

These centres treat patients with less serious injuries. One is based in St Thomas’ Emergency Department (A&E), the other is based at Guy’s Hospital.

What we do

The urgent care centre at Guy’s Hospital offers an alternative to the emergency department (A&E) for a range of minor injuries and urgent medical problems.

It is a walk-in NHS service for patients whose condition is urgent enough that they cannot wait for the next GP appointment (usually within 48 hours) but who do not need emergency treatment at the emergency department (A&E). It is staffed by a GP working alongside emergency nurses.

We have facilities to x-ray limbs for suspected fractures and prescribe medicines, however the service is not set up to do blood tests, chest X-rays or more complex imaging such as CT or MRI scans. The unit will usually treat patients with less serious injuries more quickly than the emergency department (A&E).

We treat minor injuries and illnesses including:

This service does not replace a patient’s own GP. A patients GP is ideal for most treatments as they hold medical records and have a broader picture of their health. He or she can also refer patients to specialist services for less time-critical conditions.

Services not offered:

Patients will usually be seen more quickly in this unit rather than in the emergency department (A&E). How long patients wait to be seen depends on:

When patients are seen

When patients arrive, patients will be assessed immediately by a senior nurse or doctor and patients may be referred on for more appropriate treatment. This could be A&E if patients are seriously ill, or it may be to their GP or pharmacist if patients do not need to be treated at the urgent care centre.

Example Timetable

Monday morning

  • Majors

Monday afternoon

  • Majors

Tuesday morning

  • Resus

Tuesday afternoon

  • Resus

Wednesday morning

  • Emergency Medical Unit

Wednesday afternoon

  • Emergency Medical Unit

Thursday morning

  • Children’s A&E

Thursday afternoon

  • Children’s A&E

Friday morning

  • Urgent Care Centre

Friday afternoon

  • Urgent Care Centre


A course fee per week will be applied; this fee excludes accommodation and travelling expenses. To find out the fee amount please email

Please note

Clinicians are able to offer bursaries or discounted placements on an individual basis. This is at the discretion of the Directorates of GSTT and does not affect the terms and conditions of the Visiting Professional Programme agreements

Start your application