Ambulatory Care Unit - Royal Oldham

We provide same-day emergency care (SDEC) for medical patients at the Royal Oldham Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU). Patients are assessed, diagnosed and treated in most cases on the same day depending on the outcome of their investigation. We assess and treat many common conditions including blood clots (DVT), cellulitis (skin infections), anaemia (low blood counts), chest infections and headaches.

As we aim to complete your tests and common treatment you need within one visit, this may mean you staying in hospital for several hours.

You may be given a specific time to attend ACU. If so, please allow plenty of time to arrive as you may have a test scheduled at this time. We aim to see all of our patients in a timely, manner but there may be a wait to be seen at busy times.

The amount of time you will spend with us depends on your condition and the tests you require, but the average stay is approximately 4-6 hours. You may wish to bring a book or mobile device with headphones to pass some time.

Where possible refreshments will be provided at intervals during the day, though you may wish to use on site shop and café.

On arrival to ACU you will be greeted by a member of the nursing team who will take your details and ask you to wait in the seating area. You will usually have your vital signs checked, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels and temperature.

Medical review

You will be assessed by a doctor, Advanced Clinical Practitioner or a specialist nurse. They will ask you questions about your symptoms and examine you. They will need to know about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have and details of your current medications. Depending on your condition it may be necessary to undergo some diagnostic tests or be seen by specialist teams. If required, and depending on your case, one more of the following test may be requested:

  • Blood tests
  • ECG (an electrical tracing of the heart)
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart)

Sometimes the results of tests may indicate that we need to refer you to a specialist outpatient clinic for which an appointment will be arranged for you at a later date. Alternatively we may need to arrange to see you again in ACU for repeat tests such as blood tests.

Test results

Where test results are available, we will discuss these with you on the day of your visit. Occasionally we will phone you with results if they are not immediately available. We will also write to your GP to ensure they know the results of your tests.

Treatment

We will discuss the results of your tests and any treatment you need. Any same-day treatment will be provided by ACU. You may be given a prescription for treatment to take home or we may recommend that your GP starts treatment. If so, we will write to your GP to inform them of this and you will also receive a copy.

Going home

Once you have completed your tests and treatment we will let you know when you can be discharged home. You will be asked to make your own way home and if there is a wait we have a discharge lounge for your family and friends to collect you.

If you have any difficulty arranging your journey home please speak to a member of staff.

Very occasionally we need to keep patients in hospital for further tests or treatment.

Main hospital corridor on the ground floor opposite the Emergency Department (ED)

You may be referred to ACU by:

  • Your GP
  • The Emergency Department (ED)
  • The Acute Medical Unit (AMU)
  • An outpatient clinic

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