Ambulatory Emergency Care

Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) is an approach which results in a significant proportion of emergency adult patients being managed safely and efficiently on the same day avoiding admission to a hospital bed.  This means that patients are assessed, diagnosed, treated and are able to go home the same day, without being admitted to hospital overnight.   This service at St. Mary’s Hospital opens on Tuesday 5th June 2018.

This film produced by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement explains the principles behind Ambulatory Emergency Care.

The Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Service is located within the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU), which is located on the ground floor of St Mary’s Hospital.  It is near the Emergency Department (ED – also known as A&E).

The service is open Monday – Friday (except Bank Holidays) and can accept referrals between 10am and 6pm. Diagnostics may be undertaken up until 4.30pm. The service closes at 7pm.    Outside of these times, the patient may be offered an appointment for a subsequent day if appropriate.

The service accepts referrals from health professionals across the Trust (including ED), the community, primary care and any other appropriate source. Access will be to the medical consultant via a dedicated phone.  The Ambulatory Emergency Care team consists of:

  • An acute medical Consultant
  • A Doctor (Core medical trainee at the level of Senior House Office)
  • Senior Nurse
  • Health Care Assistant

If a patient is well enough they will be encouraged to mobilise between the AEC service, diagnostic areas and the Friend’s café or the Full Circle Restaurant.  Although not exclusive typical conditions appropriate for  Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) include:

  • Acute headache
  • Anaemia
  • Asthma
  • Cellulitis
  • Community Acquired Pneumonia
  • Deliberate Self Harm
  • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Epileptic Seizure
  • Fall, including Syncope/Collapse
  • LRTI (Lower Respiratory Tract Infection) without COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • PE - pulmonary embolism
  • Cardiac dysrhythmias with acceptable clinical stability including SVT (supraventricular tachycardia)  including AF (Atrial fibrillation)

Further information about these conditions can be found on the NHS Choices website at

However our aim is to support any patients that are clinically appropriate to be seen and managed by the  AEC  in one day in order to prevent admission, rather than working to a pre-agreed list of conditions.

For further information about Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Service click on the downloads below for:

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