The AIM Patient Journey

Find our more about the Acute Internal Medicine patient journey


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Why is Acute Internal Medicine important?

Acute Medicine Specialists are part of a team of healthcare professionals all trained to provide this. The development of AMUs has enabled the right person to be assessing you in the right place at the right time. Although they are staffed by a number of healthcare professionals there is always a very good level of senior support available for the review of patients.

What happens if I need to be admitted to the AMU?

You may come to the unit from the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, where your treatment and investigations will have been started.

If you have been referred by your GP, depending upon the severity of your illness, you may be brought to A&E or directly to the AMU.

On arrival, you will be greeted by one of the Nurses who will allocate you a bed and take handover of your care where appropriate.

If you have a problem which may be infectious, such as diarrhoea or vomiting, we will try to allocate you to one of our single rooms.

What happens next?

The Nurse allocated to your care will settle you into the ward and will do a set of observations; temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels.

This information will be conveyed to the Medical Team looking after you. If you have been seen by the Medical Team in A&E, they will be informed that you are now on the AMU and may come to gather more information from you, or carry out further tests.

The Consultant in charge of your care will also be made aware of your admission, and the plan for your ongoing treatment will be explained to you. We aim to ensure that the plan for your ongoing care is in place within 4 hours of arrival on the unit.

How long will I stay on the unit for?

The AMU is designed to provide care for patients who have been admitted to hospital and are acutely unwell.

The time that you spend on the unit will depend on how unwell you were on admission to hospital. If you are likely to be discharged home within 72 hours you will usually stay on AMU.

If we feel that you need longer to get better, need more tests carried out, or ongoing treatment, you may be transferred to another ward in the hospital. We will keep you updated of this at all times.

Development of AIM as a specialty

The career prospects for AIM are almost unrivalled. The 2015 census conducted by the RCP London shows Acute Medicine having the largest increase in consultant posts, with a dramatic 33% expansion.

Over the last 12 years we have seen significant changes in the way acute care is delivered and in the team that delivers it. The presence of Acute Physicians in hospitals with unscheduled care has been shown to reduce mortality risk and the length of stay while in hospital, without increasing readmission rates.

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AIM physicians provide initial assessment, investigation, diagnosis and management of patients who have an acute medical illness within the first 72 hours of their hospital stay.
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