“Acute medicine consultants are central to the delivery of seven-day consultant-led care.”

Strictly embargoed until Monday 18 November 00.01

SAM response to the AoMRC “Seven Day Consultant Present Care: Implementation Considerations” report: “Acute medicine consultants are central to the delivery of seven-day consultant-led care.”

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) welcomes today’s (Monday 18 Nov) publication of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ (AoMRC) report which describes implementation considerations for a seven-day consultant present care.

The report recognises the challenges which will be faced by hospitals in implementing seven-day consultant present care, illustrating the amount of consultant time which will be required in the future and the types of investigations and support services needed.

The report also recognises that the delivery of seven-day consultant present care is likely to require additional consultant appointments as well as changes to the working practice of existing staff to ensure the development of sustainable working arrangements which encourage continuity of care. Additionally it highlights the key role which will be played by ‘generalists’, including acute physicians, in the future.

Dr Alistair Douglas, SAM President said: “We welcome this report which recognises that acute medicine consultants are central to the delivery of seven-day consultant-led care. Many acute medical units across the UK are already providing a 12-hour 7-day consultant presence, but it is important that daily consultant review continues when a patient moves to another part of the hospital.

“Access to appropriate investigations, interventions and support services is crucial to the delivery of high quality, safe and effective care for patients admitted to hospital in an emergency. Ensuring that these key services are available seven days per week will also shorten the length of time that many patients stay in hospital, easing congestion in the acute medical unit and A&E departments”.

Many acute medical units have pioneered the multi-disciplinary approach to patient care which is strongly supported by the document.

Dr Douglas added: “I am delighted that this report recognises the critical part which nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other allied healthcare professionals play in the delivery of acute hospital care; acute medical units have developed strong multidisciplinary teams which need to be sustained throughout the seven day week. The value of these teams should not be underestimated”.

Notes to the editors:

  • Acute medicine (also known as acute internal medicine) is the specialty which deals with the immediate and early treatment of adult patients with a variety of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • The Society for Acute Medicine is the national representative body for the speciality of acute medicine and represents around a thousand members.
  • Dr Alistair Douglas is a consultant in acute medicine and nephrology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee and is the Society for Acute Medicine president since 3 October 2013.

Claire Charras
Communications and Marketing Executive
The Society for Acute Medicine
07 985 494 965

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