The unit manager(s) and staff would like to welcome patients and relatives to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). The purpose of the AMU is for the treatment of patients with acute medical conditions. Patients may be referred from the Emergency Department (A&E), GPs or outpatient clinics.
The information below aims to provide useful information to both patients and their relatives about your stay on the unit.
On admission to AMU, patients will be allocated to an appropriate bed space. Observations will be taken and recorded. A scoring system called the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is used to assess the severity of each patient’s clinical condition. A qualified nurse and a doctor carry out nursing and medical assessments for each patient. The nurse and doctor on duty will see patients in time order, unless the NEWS or clinical condition indicates that they require urgent assessment and treatment.
Whilst you are a patient on the AMU, you will be seen by a consultant or registrar (senior speciality doctor) every 24 hours. During times when one of our doctors are examining you, visiting is restricted to allow effective examination to take place and also provide confidentiality for patients. If relatives wish to speak to one of the medical or nursing team, please ask a member of staff.
During your stay in hospital the doctors and nurses looking after you may wish to perform a number of blood tests and other investigations in order to help with your diagnosis and treatment. These tests will include a routine test for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) for all patients admitted to the AMU.
There is a multi-disciplinary team on AMU, including nursing and medical staff.
Senior nurses can be identified by their navy blue uniform and staff nurses in royal blue. Assistant practitioners wear striped blue and white, healthcare assistants and clinical escorts in white, housekeepers in a white shirt and blue waistcoat.
Admin and clerical staff wear a blue patterned blouse.
Contact details: 01253 953386
The AMU offers a welcoming open visiting policy however, we also ask that relatives keep to only two visitors per bed. In special circumstances, alternative arrangements can be made with the nurse in charge. If the usual carers for patients wish to continue to provide some care whilst the patient is on the unit, please speak to the nurse, who can make these arrangements for you.
While in hospital, patients will require night/day wear, toiletries and slippers. While it is advisable not bring valuables into hospital, if patients do, it is important to notify the nurse looking after them. On admission into the AMU, a nurse will ask to declare any valuables and sign a valuables disclaimer.
It is helpful if patients bring in their normal medications from home. On admission, these are to be handed to the admitting nurse. These will be placed in a green bag and be transferred with the patient if they move to another ward.
Length of Stay
The AMU is a clinical area that specialises in assessment and initial treatment of medical patients. It is usual to stay on AMU for approximately 24-48 hours, and, if further treatment is required, patients may be transferred to another ward. In some circumstances, patients do stay on the AMU for longer periods than this.
When patients are transferred from the unit, we do not usually telephone the next-of-kin to inform them of the transfer. This is due to the high number of patients being admitted to and transferred from the unit each day. We do, however, have robust systems in place to inform relatives, on telephoning or visiting, which ward each patient has been transferred to.
To allow staff to spend a high proportion of their time caring for patients on the unit, please nominate one person from the family to ring to enquire about a relative’s condition. It is best to phone after midday, when the ward round is normally finished, so that the basic information from the ward round can be communicated to you. You can obtain a card with the unit telephone numbers on from the unit reception desk.
Please use the hand gel provided on entering and leaving the ward. It is essential that patients wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating. All visitors should use the hand gel provided on entering and leaving the ward or if you are visiting a patient in a side room please wash your hands on entering and leaving the room. If you are unwell, please do not visit. It is advised to check with a nurse if a patient requires barrier nursing precautions.
Medical and Nursing Students
We are a teaching hospital; so medical students and student nurses may be involved in some of your medical treatment. Their practice is always supervised by a qualified nurse or doctor.
Is you wish to see someone from the chaplaincy team, please ask a nurse who can arrange this for you.
Concerns and Complaints
During yours and your relative’s stay, if you wish to discuss a concern, please ask to see the nurse in charge or the unit manager (s) or clinical matron, who will try to resolve this for you.
We hope you find this information helpful whilst you are on the AMU, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff if you require any further information during your stay.