Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit

Think ambulatory care – we are open, we are willing and we are happy to discuss any medical patient with you – so give us a call.

The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit (AEC) provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment with the aim of getting patients home safely on the same day, without the need for an overnight stay. The Unit is purpose built and provides a mixture of reclining chairs, examination cubicles and procedure rooms. We are located on level 2 (next to pharmacy)


Scope and Opening Hours

A seven days a week service. Hours of operation are:

  • Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm – Last referral accepted at 17:00 hours.
  • Sat/Sun 8am – 6pm – Last referral accepted at 16:00 hours.

Contact AECU NIC/ Med Reg on Ext 6439/2974] Mob: 07790353506

Out of Hours – Mon – Fri 8pm – 8am & weekends Contact Med SpR bleep 5951



Clinical Care is provided by a Consultant Physician, a Medical Registrar or equivalent level doctor, Senior House Officer, Senior Nurses with junior and auxiliary nursing and health staff.

Criteria and Eligibility for AECU attendance is based on the following domains:

Is the patient clinically stable? Normally this means NEWS <4(Is 2 in diagram above). Patients with higher scores may be managed depending on clinical judgment.
Is the patient functionally capable of being managed in AECU? The patient should be able to attend to their toileting and feeding needs.
Could the patient’s clinical needs be met better by another service? This depends on availability of alternatives, which in will develop over time. Examples :acute hot clinics, Hub clinics, GIM clinics, RAC, speciality clinics


The objectives of the AECU are:

  • Alleviation of crowding in ED by avoiding accumulation of GP-referred medical patients in ED
  • To prevent / avoid unnecessary admissions to the hospital.
  • To redirect ambulatory medical patients from the medical-take where appropriate, reducing the number of ambulatory patients in ED.
  • To manage patients who meet the criteria of the Ambulatory Care Pathways.
  • To provide same-day medical diagnostic services, thereby facilitating same day discharge.
  • Improve patient experience
  • To enhance operational effectiveness and patient flow
  • To reduce time spent in hospital
  • To reduce number of medical admissions.


Referral process:

  • The Senior Nurse on duty will be responsible for taking initial calls when an admission is requested and transferring the GP direct to a Registrar/Consultant should direct dialogue be required.
  • Upon arrival to the unit, patients will be screened and have a National Early Warning Score (NEWS) calculated within fifteen minutes.
  • Relevant investigations will be carried out following initial screening
  • The Senior Nurse on duty will stream the patients to the clinical team and task a nurse to act on the treatment plan alongside the clinical team.
  • Internal hospital referrals (ED, UTC etc.), are made by contacting the unit on extension 6439 and complete the referral form.
  • Patients that do not fulfil the AECU criteria will remain in ED or the UTC.