Same day emergency care

We offer Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) at both of our acute sites. We provide same-day care for emergency patients who would otherwise be admitted to hospital. Under this care model, patients presenting at hospital 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 their care is provided.

More about us

The service is for patients arriving in hospital after being referred by their GP/ED and is felt that they need rapid medical assessment but can be managed safely as an outpatient.

Patients are assessed promptly on arrival and appropriate tests are arranged to help determine if a patient is suitable to be managed as an outpatient. Usually, we need bloods and X-Rays/scans to investigate a problem. The average time spent with us is 2 to 4 hours. 

A wide variety of conditions, including headaches, chest pain, infections, pulmonary embolus and diabetes can be diagnosed and treated in this way.

Patients will receive rapid medical assessment and treatment and, in most cases, will be sent home to recover. This helps to improve a patient's experience and avoid unnecessary admissions.

The unit offers a range of procedures and treatment to patients. The following is an example:

  • Investigations e.g. CT scans, USS, x-rays, investigation results or repeat bloods.
  • IV antibiotics and reviews.
  • Wound reviews or dressings.
  • Removal of drains or catheters.
  • Administration of infusions e.g. Iron, IVIG.
  • Education of patients for self-management at home.
  • Ascitic drains, pleural taps, lumbar punctures and biopsies.

Where to find us

Eastern services

Royal Devon and Exeter (Wonford)

Same Day Emergency Care, Medical Out-Patient Department, level 1, template D, RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW. 

Northern Services

Same Day Emergency Care is co-located with the Medical Assessment Unit

North Devon District Hospital

Raleigh Park
EX31 4JB

Virtual ward

Virtual ward is a new way of delivering safe care at home. 
We are excited to be using technology and community services to support and care for patients at home. 
We have a range of monitoring equipment to make sure our patients are safe. We use daily contact with patients to make sure they are improving. 
Examples of the care we offer include intravenous antibiotics given at home and monitoring patients with chest pain and heart rhythm problems.
We hope that our virtual ward will grow as an alternative to being admitted to hospital and to shorten stays for our inpatients. 

Referral information for healthcare professionals

To make a referral to SDEC or speak to a member of the team, please ring the admissions coordinator via our main switchboard numbers. Access for GPs is through the call-taker on both sites.


Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Main switchboard on 01392 411611


North Devon District Hospital 

Main switchboard on 01271 322577

Last updated: November 15, 2022.