Acute Medical Unit

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), GP’s or Outpatients’ Clinics.

The information below aims to provide useful information to both patients and their relatives about your stay on the Unit.

Initial Assessment

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.

Doctors

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.

Blood Tests

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.

Staff

There is a multidisciplinary team on AMU, including nursing and medical staff.

Senior nurses can be identified by their navy blue uniform and Staff Nurses in royal blue. Assistance Practitioners in stripped blue and white, Healthcare Assistants and Clinical Escorts in white, Housekeepers in  white shirt and blue waist coat.

Admin and Clerical staff wear a blue pattern blouse.

Contact details: 01253 953386

Visiting Times

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.

Personal Possessions

Whilst in hospital, patients will require night/day wear, toiletries  and slippers. Whilst it is advisable not bring valuables into hospital, if patients do, it is important to notify the nurse looking after them if they do. On admission into the AMU, a nurse will ask to declare any valuables and sign a valuables disclaimer.

Medication

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.

Telephone Enquiries

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.

Infection Control

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 & 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.

Chaplaincy Services

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 relatives 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.