Ambulatory Emergency Care

Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) is part of the Trust's Same Day Emergency Care Service (SDEC). 

This 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 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 opens seven days a week at 9am 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 Medical Ambulatory Emergency Care team consists of:

  • An Acute Medicine Consultant
  • A dedicated Doctor (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.

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.

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