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Service Details

Acute Care - Stepping Hill Hospital

Contact Information

Acute Frailty Unit (AFU) ................ Tel. 0161 419 4455

Acute Medical Unit (AMU) ........... Tel. 0161 419 4121

Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) ...... Tel. 0161 419 5907

About Our Service

Acute Care, a division of the Integrated Care Business Group, comprises the specailities of Acute Medicine and Acute Frailty at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Collectively, there are several key service areas including:

  • Advice & Guidance
  • Virtual Ward
  • Same Day Emergency Care
  • Acute Medical Unit
  • Acute Frailty Unit 
Our Expertise

Advice & Guidance

We offer an advice and guidance service for community health care practitioners (HCPs) such as GPs, Advanced Care Practitioners, District Nurses, Crisis Team Practitioners etc.

HCPs are able to ask a senior clinician for advice and guidance, and as a result their patient may be navigated to the most appropriate service such as GP, a Same Day Emergency Care service, or the Emergency Department.

Virtual Ward

Whilst initially accelerated by the Covid pandemic, our Virtual Ward offer is evolving in its scope.

The service is delivered by community based Advanced Care Practitioners in conjunction with telehealth monitoring solutions, with regular input from the Acute Physicians.

This transformative approach has been well received at all levels, and it is a key area for further development.

Same Day Emergency Care

Our Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) services include:

  • Medical Same Day Emergency Care - via the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU).
  • Same Day Acute Frailty -  via the Acute Frailty Unit (AFU).

These services allow suitable patients to receive timely assessment, investigations and treatment without needing to be admitted to an inpatient hospital bed. However, if patients are required to stay overnight in hospital for further assessment and care, this is provided in our acute assessment wards: the Acute Medical Unit or the Acute Frailty Unit.

Patients can only be referred for Same Day Emergency Care by a community Health Care Profesisonal such as a GP or Advanced Care Practitioner, a Clinical Assessment Service such as NHS111, or streamed by the Emergency Department. Most referrals are immediate but some patients may be given a next day appointment depending on urgency of need.

On arrival, a senior clinician will commence assessment involving other professions and referring for investigations where indicated. Patients have the same access to our clinicians, diagnostics and services as our inpatients. There are a number of conditions which can now be successfully treated safely without an unnecessary overnight stay in hospital - patients can return home after their first visit but may be asked to return for follow-up treatments or diagnostics.

Acute Medical Unit

The purpose of the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) is to manage acutely unwell medical patients who cannot otherwise be managed through Same Day Emergency Care. These patients require emergency admission to a hospital bed for a period of assessment and stabilisation of 24-48 hours, prior to discharge from hospital or transfer to the most appropriate ward for ongoing hospital care.

Whilst in AMU, patients will be seen by the multi-disciplinary team which includes Acute Physicians, Junior Doctors, Physician Associates, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, and Pharmacists, in addition to other specialists where appropriate, for example, a Cardiologist.

Acute Frailty Unit

The Acute Frailty Unit (AFU) is a unit with two clearly defined assessment areas ‘under the same roof’:

  1. Same Day Acute Frailty
  2. Inpatient Acute Frailty

AFU operates as described above for SDEC and AMU, with the main difference being the inclusion criteria:

  • Aged ≥ 65 years old
  • Clinical Frailty Score ≥ 5

AFU has a specialist acute frailty multi-disciplinary workforce including Coordinators, Consultant Geriatricians, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Pharmacists. AFU manages its own referrals from the community, a Frailty Intervention Team in-reaches to other areas such as ED and AMU. AFU also manages its own admissions.


© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2023. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010