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Raising awareness, raising money and raising the bar for Acute Medical Units

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 July 2013

Monday 15 July marks the start of Acute Medicine Awareness Week 2013 in hospitals and trusts up and down the country supported by the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM).

Throughout the week, acute medical unit (AMU) teams including consultants, trainee doctors, allied healthcare professionals and nurses will be taking part in activities to raise public awareness of the importance of acute medicine and their work in the AMU.

Dr Chris Roseveare, SAM president, said: “This is an important week for all staff working in acute medical units. During the past few months, the pressures on acute NHS services have been unprecedented. This week provides an opportunity for AMU staff to showcase the excellent work that they have been undertaking to improve the quality of care and experience for patients admitted to hospital in an emergency.

“In addition to raising awareness of their work, many units will be using this week as an opportunity to raise money for charitable funds which can be used to improve the ward environment for patients and carers. Last year several thousand pounds were raised by AMU staff with the support of SAM, and we hope that this generosity will be repeated”.

At Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Oliver Gaillemin, consultant in Acute Medicine, is organising an endurance challenge on Monday 15July. Mimicking a triathlon using an exercise bike, rowing machine (swimming) and treadmill, the energetic staff will be taking turns on the equipment to complete a total of 214.6 miles; the distance from Salford to the Society for Acute Medicine Headquarters in Edinburgh.

Dr Gaillemin said: “Up to 50% medical patients are treated and discharged with follow up from the AMU. To ensure safe, high quality care, close working of the multidisciplinary team as well as with specialty colleagues is key. The endurance challenge will therefore include consultants for Acute Medicine and Geriatric, Emergency Department consultants, social workers and physios, nurses and pharmacists as well as managerial support staff. Each participant will complete one hour on one of the machines and we hope to keep every machine manned for as long as it takes to reach our target.”

Each evening during Acute Medicine Awareness Week, SAM will be hosting an online discussion forum via Twitter focusing on some of the key challenges for the AMU; the intention is to engage a broad range of healthcare professionals, managers, commissioners, patients and carers to help identify solutions to these important issues, and the discussions can be followed on twitter via @acutemedicine or using the hashtag #AMAW13

Dr Roseveare added: “We are expecting a number of high profile health leaders and patient representatives to join in with these discussions which we hope will stimulate a lively debate, and help us continue to “raise the bar” in acute medical care”.

ENDS

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 specialty of acute medicine and represents over a thousand members.
  • The President of the Society for Acute Medicine, Dr Chris Roseveare, is available for interview.
  • Dr Roseveare has been an acute medical consultant in a large teaching hospital since 1999.
  • Pictures attached a free to use.
  • A list of all participating AMUs is available upon request.

Contact:

Claire Charras
Communications and Marketing Executive
Society for Acute Medicine
communicatons@acutemedicine.org.uk
07 985 494 965

Twitter: @acutemedicine #AMAW13

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