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Same Day Emergency Care: Royal Free Hospital

NCL Wide

Same day emergency care (SDEC) is the provision of same day care for patients with acute conditions who would otherwise need hospital admission or emergency assessment in ED.

Patients presenting with relevant conditions can be rapidly assessed, diagnosed and treated without being admitted to a ward, and if clinically safe to do so, will go home the same day.

At RFH, patients can be referred to either ED SDEC or Medical SDEC.

ED SDEC: ANP/consultant led service for patients presenting with conditions within one of the defined ambulatory pathways: DVT, cellulitis, PE, Pyelonephritis, abscess, ureteric colic.

Medical SDEC: Acute medicine service for patients requiring urgent review who would otherwise likely need admission or ED assessment, who don’t have one of the ED SDEC pathway conditions.

NB: for elderly/frail patients please refer to the TREAT service for assessment and admission avoidance.

Opening hours:

ED SDEC: 7 days /  week 8am-8pm
Med SDEC: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Eligibility criteria


  • Patient has an acute condition that either fits one of the ED SCEC pathways or requires urgent assessment by the acute medicine service to prevent admission.
  • Able to sit in the waiting room independently and transfer with minimal assistance
  • >18 years old.


  • Patients who are clinically unstable (NEWS2 >5)
  • Infection control issues (Covid-19, D&V, etc)
  • Acute confusion or severe dementia.

How to refer


Medical SDEC: Medical registrar on ext. 31146 or bleep 2527.


Unit details

Provided By

General Services

Adult Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding

Community Services

Navigating Self-Care

Urgent & Emergency Care

Urgent & Emergency Care for Children

Review date: Thursday, 05 January 2023