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Nurse helps create innovative assessment unit

Service is helping to reduce emergency department admissions.
Linsey Davis

A nurse has helped set up a transformative ambulatory assessment unit (AAU), which enables nurses and doctors to diagnose and treat patients quickly.

Linsey Davis, a sister at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, worked with colleagues to create the AAU and acute hospital at home team (AHaH), which she now manages.

The AAU supports patients on an ambulatory basis rather than in the emergency department (ED), which means they are treated and can often return home the same day.

Swift service

AAU covers anybody we think we could treat, diagnose and discharge within the same day, or within 48 hours,' said Ms Davis.

Instead of them going through the front door to the ED, they are coming through the "side door" to AAU. We can see and

A nurse has helped set up a transformative ambulatory assessment unit (AAU), which enables nurses and doctors to diagnose and treat patients quickly.


Sister Linsey Davis says the service has reduced the number of emergency department admissions

Linsey Davis, a sister at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, worked with colleagues to create the AAU and acute hospital at home team (AHaH), which she now manages.

The AAU supports patients on an ambulatory basis rather than in the emergency department (ED), which means they are treated and can often return home the same day.

Swift service

 ‘AAU covers anybody we think we could treat, diagnose and discharge within the same day, or within 48 hours,' said Ms Davis.

‘Instead of them going through the front door to the ED, they are coming through the "side door" to AAU. We can see and treat them quicker and they are not taking up hospital bed space. However, they are still getting the best possible treatment because we have our consultants on hand. People have said they have noticed a reduction in the number of patients in ED.’

The AAU started off in two rooms at the hospital in November 2015 and has since moved to a larger location at the trust, with more than 40 nurses and doctors working in the unit.

The AHaH team was created in October last year and includes 13 nurses who go out into the community.

Next step

Ms Davis, who won the outstanding achievement category at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's staff recognition awards 2016, said: ‘AHaH is the next step of the ambulatory pathway.

'Patients who are nearly ready to be discharged from hospital, perhaps needing antibiotics or further treatment, such as blood tests, can now receive these in their own home through AHaH.

‘We have ED nurses, geratology nurses trained in dementia care, gastro and renal nurse specialists and a stroke nurse – so we can call on a range of expertise.

'AAU and AHaH are a close-knit team. We all share information and look at how we can improve things. Everybody is happy to share their skills and expertise to make the service work better.’

The successful approach has also been adopted at the trust's Horton General Hospital, which now has its own AAU and AHaH team.


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