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SAM Strategy Update

Council members gathered in July to review their previous efforts on behalf of SAM and to plan what their next endeavours should be.

Despite some technical difficulties with the video conferencing (the council was split between Edinburgh and Birmingham) determined discussion commenced at 10.30am. Dr Philip Dyer made the introductions and checked off the actions from the past strategy meeting noting that most had been completed successfully. Checked actions include the redesign of the website, the appointment of a communications executive, expanded social media presence, development of a new logo and a sponsor’s pack (A Guide to Acute Medicine).

Review of the Acute Medicine Quality Indicators

The council is keen to ensure SAM is key in developing these indicators, which will be used to audit all AMUs. Four basic measures were agreed at the meeting which will now be taken forward and discussed with the RCPL before being finalised with the Department of Health. The Society is pushing for clear and practical indicators that are will ensure high standards of care. They are also working on AMU standards which are – for now – aspirational, they will encompass what they hope an AMU can offer in the future.

SAM strategy; the future

Much of what the Council will be doing in the coming months will be answering questions thrown up at the strategy meeting.

What does SAM, as a single entity, think? About the white paper? About seven day working? About waiting times? The President and Vice President will lead a Core Policy Group which will meet at least once a month to decide on Society policy and draft policy statements after considering members’ opinions and the needs of patients.

What are acute medical professionals experts at? How can the Society prove that acute professionals are better equipped to work on an AMU than a generalist? How can we assure those coming through the new acute medicine curriculum will be the preferred candidate? Council members will commission and collate research that will prove the worth of the AMU and AIM trained staff. They are also writing job / person specifications to be put forward to the colleges and the NHS which will highlight skills specific to acute medicine.

How can we increase the Society’s income? Should SAM push for more pharmaceutical sponsorship? It was decided that while the new pharmaceutical report (A Guide to Acute Medicine) should clarify how important acute medicine is to pharma other funding avenues must also be explored. Council members will be researching the possibility of developing management courses, gaining charitable status and selling the SCE abroad.

Also actioned; researching the possibility of regional representation, continuing work on building an AMU database, organisation of an ‘expert’ communications group, work on the curricula, redraft the definition of acute medicine.

And there we have it, five and half hours of debate cut to a few brief paragraphs. If you have an opinion on Society strategy or would like to help in some way, please do email us at

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