AMU is an Acute Medical Unit which provides rapid assessment, investigation, diagnosis, and treatment for adult patients (over the age of 16) who have been referred directly to the team by the GP or Accident & Emergency Department because they have an urgent medical problem that needs specialist assessment.
This is a busy unit which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and sees around 9,000 to 10,000 patients every year.
Patients undergo a number of assessments which take place in a private trolley area. The assessments include initial observations such as blood pressure and pulse, and a discussion about symptoms and medical history. A number of tests and investigations are also carried out where these are felt to be appropriate. These could include blood and urine tests, X Rays and scans or an Electro Cardiograph (ECG) to monitor the heart.
A consultant will then make a final decision as to whether a patient needs to be admitted to hospital for treatment or further investigations. However, around a quarter of patients do not need any further immediate attention and are able to go home. Some may be given an appointment to be seen again as an outpatient for further tests. For patients who are discharged, urgent appointments are available in case they become unwell again after leaving the hospital.
About the Team
The Medical Assessment Unit is run by a team of dedicated staff. This includes, doctors, nurses, administrators, domestic staff, pharmacists, nursing assistants, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
The lead doctor for the unit are Dr Nicola Finneran is a consultant in Acute Medicine. The nurse in charge is Sister Helen Benfield.