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Message from the President

Dear Colleague

Winter has been as busy as ever on the AMU, and although spring has now officially arrived, the pressure shows no sign of abating. Spring is a busy time for SAM as well, with our 25th meeting now only two months away. This email should bring you up to date with all the activities which we have been engaged with over recent weeks, and some of our plans for the coming months.

The Health and Social Care Bill

Thanks to all of you who completed the survey which we circulated last month regarding this issue. The results of this are published on the website and this has informed our position statement. I attended the Extraordinary General Meeting at the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCPL) last Monday and contributed to the debate by providing comments on our survey. We will await with interest the results of the survey which is currently being conducted by the RCPL and in the meantime I have written to the Secretary of State for Health highlighting the specific concerns of SAM members.

Quality Indicators

A number of members responded to the email regarding their readiness to gather data for the proposed AMU Quality Indicators and I am grateful to those of you who have already sent in data form their own units. There are clearly a number of challenges associated with gathering data of this type and the indicators may need to be refined to ensure the correct balance between data accuracy, ease of collection and appropriateness as true markers of quality. There is a workshop planned at the spring conference in Dublin to discuss these issues further, and in the meantime we would encourage other units to start collecting and recording these data locally. Data collection proformas and a spreadsheet for data entry can be obtained by emailing

Seven Day Working

The first draft of the toolkit for seven day working on AMU has been written and will be published later in the spring. The toolkit, entitled ‘Implementation of Seven Day Consultant Working on the Acute Medical Unit’ is being a co-authored with the RCPL and will be the fourth in the Acute Care Toolkit series. The document will incorporate recommendations on implementation of best working practices identified in the SAM / RCPL survey. This issue will also be discussed further at a workshop in Dublin in May. (SAM Position Statement on Seven Day Working).

Atrial Fibrillation Study

Many thanks to all who participated in the national study: ‘A day in the life of Atrial Fibrillation’ run by the Acute Medicine team at Imperial College and circulated by SAM.  The organisers of the study have asked if members of SAM could complete this very brief (4 question) follow-up survey.

This is to ensure that all participating units have received acknowledgement and to enable the organisers’ records to be updated. Even if you did not participate or have already received acknowledgement, the organisers would be very grateful if you could indicate this on the survey. Please note, all survey data will remain anonymous. If you have any queries regarding this please address these to the lead investigator, Dr Anjali Balasanthiran:

Acute Medicine Awareness Day

The 20th June is getting closer – for those who missed the previous emails this has been designated as Acute Medicine Awareness Day; we are hoping that as many Units across the UK will participate in events to raise awareness of the speciality and to raise money for their AMU charitable fund. Further information on how you can get involved can be found on the SAM website. If you have not done so already, please nominate an Awareness Day champion and pass their contact details on to our communications team ( We are hoping to send out information packs to participating units in the near future. The more units get involved the mo

 National Institute of Clinical Excellence

SAM is a stakeholder with NICE and we are asked to contribute to the development of many of the guidelines being produced. Consultations are currently in place for the following guidelines which can be accessed by the links below. If any of you would like to contribute to these please complete the relevant comments proforma (available via the links below) and return to us at at least one week before the listed deadline. We will collate responses and submit a combined response from SAM.

Colorectal cancer quality standard
Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 22nd March.

Stable angina quality standard
Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 22nd March.

Neutropenic sepsis guideline
Deadline: 5pm on Wednesday 28th March.

Acute Medicine Journal

The spring edition of the Acute Medicine Journal will be mailed shortly. If you are a full member of SAM and do not receive your edition by the end of March please with your current postal address so that we can ensure you are sent this and that our mail database is up to date. Please note that non-medics and trainees paying the reduced membership fee do not receive the journal; if you would like to upgrade your membership to ensure you receive this in future please email the SAM office as above.

Ambulatory Care

Many SAM members are actively involved in the delivery of ambulatory care on their Acute Medical Units. This year ambulatory best practice tariffs are being introduced to incentivise the delivery of  ambulatory care by providing additional revenue if patients with certain conditions can be discharged without overnight stay. Details of the relevant conditions can be found by clicking on the this link and going to p56 of the 2012/2013 PbR guide.

The NHS institute is also looking to update their Directory of Ambulatory Care which includes details of conditions which may be suitable for management in this way. If any SAM member would like to contribute to this please contact Vincent Connolly


The Spring SAM conference in Dublin on 3rd-4th May looks like being a great success; delegate numbers are already up on last year, so please book in as soon as possible to ensure your place. The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended by 1 week, but must close on 9th March to enable enough time for review of those submissions and to enable authors to be informed in good time.  The autumn conference this year will be the sixth International Conference and is being held in the International Conference Centre in Manchester on 11-12th October, so put these dates in your diary!

Chris Roseveare
President, SAM


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