What Service does the AMU Provide?
The Acute Medical Unit is open 24 hours per day. It accepts referrals from accident and emergency department and primary care.
It is a dedicated facility within a hospital that acts as the focus for acute medical care for patients that have presented as medical emergencies to hospitals or who have developed an acute medical illness while in hospital.
The Acute Medical team within the AMU provides general and specialist medical opinion for all patients who present with an acute medical illness.
The Professional Skills of the AMU
The Acute Medical team therefore must have the staff with the knowledge and skills and also the facilities to monitor patients closely restore abnormal physiology to normal and then diagnose, treat and manage the patient’s condition.
There are numerous professional involved in Acute Medicine. These include:
- Consultant Physicians – Acute Physicians
- Consultant Nurses
- Junior Doctors
- Occupational therapists
- Clerical Staff
- Bed Management Staff
The Results of the AMU
Generally 30-40% of patients will be discharged directly after the initial assessment, stabilisation and treatment. This will normally take up to 8 hours unlike the Emergency Department which is 4 hours. The remaining 60-70% will require admission to hospital for further treatment and stabilisation.
After an overnight stay a further 10-20% will be discharged (Day 1). The remaining 50-60% will require at least one further night in hospital. After a further overnight stay another 10-20% will be discharged (Day 2).
The remaining 40-50% will require an extended stay in hospital. Therefore the Acute Medical team is able to manage 50-60% of patients who present to hospital with an acutely medical condition within 48 hours.