Acute and internal medicine is a hospital service for patients who are acutely unwell with a new or long-term (chronic) medical condition.

What medical conditions do we assess?

We assess and manage patients who are acutely unwell with conditions such as:

  • Acute or chronic lung diseases, like pneumonia or COPD
  • Chest pain 
  • Cardiac problems, such as new atrial fibrillation or heart failure
  • Headaches, dizziness or mini-stroke (TIA)
  • Anaemia
  • Infections such as cellulitis, complex urinary tract infections or pyelonephritis
  • Acute gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding ulcers or decompensated liver disease
  • Uncontrolled endocrinology disorders, such as diabetes

Patients come into us through the Emergency Department where they may be brought in by ambulance, or they may come in themselves with a GP referral letter.

If you are a patient and the doctors in the Emergency Department decide that you have acute or chronic medical problems which needs assessment and treatment, they may send you to the acute medical assessment unit (AMAU, also called St Mel’s ward). The AMAU is a 12-bed unit, which is located just beside the Emergency Department. We will diagnose and manage your condition there.


Acute medicine doctors will start the medical treatment for your condition and will then discuss your case with the relevant specialty doctors to achieve the best outcome for you. The doctors will work closely with a team of nursing staff who specialise in providing care to acutely unwell patients. We also work with a dedicated team of physiotherapists, medical social workers, occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals. This team can provide you with fast assessment and treatment planning.

Many of our patients will go directly home from the AMAU. Other patients may require further care from our inpatient specialty services. If this is the case for you, you may be admitted on to our acute medicine short stay unit (AMSSU, also called St Raphael’s ward) or to another specialty ward to be looked after. 

After you are discharged from hospital, you may receive follow-up care. This care takes place in our medical specialty clinics or in our acute medicine rapid review clinic, which is held in the AMAU/St Mel’s ward.

Related services

Referral information

Acute medicine provides services for acute unscheduled medical patients. Therefore, the access point is by GP referral is to the Emergency Department, between 7.30 am and 5pm. Patients who meet the admission criteria for acute medicine will be prioritised to move to the AMAU.

The rapid review clinic is for patients discharged under acute medicine services. At this time, the rapid review clinic does not accept outpatient referrals for patients who have not been seen as an acute medicine inpatient.

Our consultants