Welcome to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU)

  • Reference Number: HEY-455/2017
  • Departments: Acute Medicine Unit

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the Acute Assessment Unit.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team who has been caring for you.

What to expect when you arrive

You will be greeted and assessed by a member of the AMU nursing team.

The initial nursing assessment

  • Your personal details will be checked and confirmed with you and/or your representative. This is to confirm your identity and ensure that correct contact details for emergencies or follow up are recorded.
  • A wristband will be attached to you for easy patient identification.
  • A full set of routine observations will be performed. These will include blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen reading, temperature and respiration rate.
  • A discussion regarding any valuables you may have brought into hospital with you will be undertaken. Should you wish to keep your property with you during your stay in hospital you will be asked to sign a property disclaimer or, alternatively, you may wish to store any belongings with the Trust and this process will be explained to you.

What happens next

Once the initial nursing assessment has been completed, depending upon the nature of your condition, further investigations and tests may be performed before seeing a doctor.  These may include:

  • Neurological observations
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a heart trace recording
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Blood pressure taken in a lying and also standing position

You will then be seen and assessed by a member of the medical team.  You may be referred to a specialist doctor and/or further tests and investigations may be requested.  These may include:

  • Chest X‑ray
  • CT scans (Computerised Tomography scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of your body)
  • Ultrasound scans (an ultrasound scan is a painless test that uses sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body)

Following these investigations you will be reviewed by a consultant who will be able to determine whether or not you will need to stay in hospital for further investigations and treatment or be allowed to go home and have further investigations / treatment as an outpatient.

You are entitled to a chaperone at all times during your clinical examination.  If you would like a chaperone please ask a member of the team caring for you and they will arrange this for you.

Accommodation

Single sex accommodation will be provided for you to ensure your privacy and dignity is maintained.  You can wear whatever clothing you like once you have been assessed by the nurses and doctors.  We can provide hospital gowns and essential toiletries if needed.  The nurse will explain the layout of the unit including the location of the bathroom and the nurse call bell.

Meal times are:

Breakfast: 8.15 am – 9.00 am
Lunch 12.00 noon – 1.oo pm
Tea-time: 4.45 pm – 5.30 pm

 

Hot drinks will be provided in between meals and during the evening.  Water will also be available at your bedside and the staff will be happy to replenish this for you as needed (please do not hesitate to ask).  Please note that at some points during your admission it may be necessary for you to be nil by mouth.

Please note protected mealtimes are in place and therefore relatives, families and friends will be asked to leave during mealtimes.  There may be occasions, however, where relatives can stay during meal service.  Please discuss this with the nurse in charge.

Visiting and Contact Details

Visiting times are between 1.00pm-7.00pm

We recommend that there are only 2 visitors at the bedside during these times and that children under the age of 12 are not brought into the AMU unless agreed with the Nurse in Charge.

Your family or carer may want information about your care.  Please ask them to speak to a member of staff caring for you, who can discuss this with your permission.  If family would like an update on your condition, it helps the staff if just one person could telephone for news and pass the information on to others.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the AMU on: Tel no: (01482) 675042. Alternatively the hospital switchboard number is (01482) 875875

Leaving the AMU and your outpatient follow-up

A summary of your treatment and management plan (including any medication changes) will be provided to you in a letter before you leave the AMU.  A copy of this letter will also be made available to your GP.  You will be given a 5 day supply of any new or changed medication to take home.  You may be transferred to the patient lounge (located at the front of the hospital) once a decision for discharge is made, to await your medications to be dispensed from pharmacy and for ease of your transportation home.

Any further investigations or outpatient appointments which you might need following discharge from the AMU will be arranged by our administration staff, who will inform you of your appointment by telephone or letter.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.