Acute Care Unit (ACU) & Ward

Assess patients and implement appropriate treatment in a timely fashion

“We need to assess patients and implement appropriate treatment in a timely fashion and start the discharge process from the onset”

ACU Consultant Markus Hauser

A key priority in the Acute Care Units is ensuring patients are placed in the best possible location and that might not be in hospital. There are numerous options for patients in ACU other than hospital admission.

As in ED, Ambulatory Emergency Care is just one of the options. It enables patients to receive the care they need without having to be admitted to a hospital ward.

It is good for patients if they can be treated as outpatients and it is good for the hospital if they do not occupy a valuable bed space.

It is vital to talk to patients and their carers not only about their immediate treatments but also about arrangements that might have to be put in place for their discharge.

The patient booklet and discharge bundle need to be introduced at this stage.

Access criteria for AEC can be obtained internally through the following link:

http://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/en/Wards-and-Departments/Departments/Ambulatory-Emergency-Care-AEC/

Jargon Buster

  • ACU
    Acute Care Unit
  • AEC
    Ambulatory Emergency CARE
  • CCG
    Clinical Commissioning Group
  • ED
    Emergency Department


  • EDD
    Estimated Date of Discharge
  • IDT
    Integrated Discharge Team
  • Pulmonary Embolism
    Pulmonary embolism: A sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage is usually caused by a blood clot that travels to the lung from a vein in the leg.


  • SORT
    Sick patients, Out today or tomorrow, Rest of patients, To come in.
  • SPCA
    Single Point Clinical Access
  • TTO (Pharmacy medication)
    To Take Out