Acute Medical Unit

The Acute Medical Unit (AMU) is the first point of entry for patients referred to hospital as emergencies by their GP and those requiring admission from the Emergency Department.


Two nurses check a health reading via medical equipment.

Who is looked after on the Acute Medical Unit?

The Acute Medical Unit (AMU) receives acutely ill medical patients from primary care via referral from General Practitioners, Emergency Department and Out Patient Services. The function of the AMU is to allow these patients requiring an acute medical assessment to receive this in one area where specialist medical, nursing and equipment resources are concentrated.

Exceptions to this are:

  • Patients requiring speciality services such as:
    • Coronary Care
    • Intensive Care
    • Stroke Care.

The unit is supported by both the Intermediate Care team (ICAT) and community Psychiatric Emergency Team (PET). It has its own dedicated Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy assessment team to support safe discharge and assist in appropriate patient discharge planning.

The unit consists of acute beds, short stay beds and an ambulatory care area for patients who are mobile and do not require an acute bed to wait for medical assessment or who can be investigated as a day attender or clinic consultation.

There are also 10 dedicated bed spaces in our Short Stay Unit (SSU) allocated for short stay patients to remain under the care of the acute physicians for a maximum of 48/72 hours to treat and discharge.

Once the initial medical assessment has been undertaken a decision will be made to determine whether the patient requires admission to hospital, can be treated as an outpatient in ambulatory care or discharged and returned to the care of their GP.

Patients are referred from;

  • Emergency Department (ED)
  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Right Care (Barnsley)
  • Direct from Out Patient clinics (when no bed is available on the referring Consultants own ward).

Patients are triaged, through a recognised process, on admission by the nursing staff and then seen by a doctor. This should be immediate if clinically unstable. Less urgent cases may have to wait longer to hopefully no more than a maximum of 4 hours.

Get in touch

Call the AMU on
01226 431301