Acute medical services and the provision of acute medical care in our hospitals have evolved rapidly over the past decade. Acute medical emergencies are the most common reason for admission to an acute hospital, and acute medicine is the fastest growing medical specialty. Change to the way acute medical services are delivered has been necessitated by a number of drivers, high among which are patient safety, improved quality of clinical care, clinical governance, and the need to train within the specialty.
Within our hospitals there is a need to reconfigure services to provide more efficient patient access to acute care - whenever that need arises. Acutely ill patients require rapid round-the-clock access to senior clinical decision makers, and to clinical assessment, documentation and illness management.
This report recognises the important role that the multi-professional team plays in delivering a high-quality service. It updates the 2004 report Acute medicine: making it work for patients.