Acute medicine

We provide acute medical services for patients who require short-term care for urgent or emergency conditions. Most of our patients come from London and Essex – although we also see people from further afield.

We are a consultant-led service that provides rapid assessment and treatment for patients with urgent and emergency conditions. Some patients will go home after their visit whilst others will stay in hospital where they will receive the care that they need on a specialist medical ward. Each patient is quickly assessed by an acute medicine consultant – and may also see a specialist doctor, such as a cardiologist, within 24 hours. 

Following our assessments, the patient may receive immediate treatment, or be admitted for further care on one of our specialist medical wards. Many patients are able to go home with 12 hours and are provided with access to support services if they need them. We offer dedicated short stay units, for patients with urgent and emergency conditions, who need to stay in the hospital. If further hospital care is required, the patient will be admitted to one of our specialist medical wards. 

If you need emergency medical treatment, please visit your local emergency department or dial 999 for an ambulance.

We provide acute medicine services from:

  • Newham University Hospital
  • The Royal London Hospital 
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital

For patients

As a patient, you will need a referral to our service. This may come via your GP, or if it is an emergency, please go to your nearest emergency department.

Our patients are aged 16 and over, and come to us with a wide range of conditions, including heart and circulatory, respiratory, liver, gastro-intestinal, endocrine and neurological disorders.

If you have been referred to the Barts Health acute medicine service you may expect to stay in one of our units for a short period of time. This may range between 24-48 hours depending on your individual circumstances and the unit where you are being treated.

Your medical team will involve you in your care and treatment plan. At the end of your stay in the acute medicine service, you with either be discharged to the care of your GP or transferred to an inpatient ward, depending on your individual needs.

If you do not speak English, or you are caring for someone who does not speak English, then we may be able to provide an interpreter for your visit. Please ask a member of staff for advice.

Why choose us

We have a dedicated fast-response team made up of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and specialist nurses. Their aim is to help to fast-track patients’ rehabilitation so that they can return home as quickly as possible.

Acute medicine also has a dedicated alcohol and drug dependency team, and a homeless team, to work with our more vulnerable patients. Patients are also supported by a follow-up clinic and an outpatient antibiotic service.

We make sure that our patients are seen by the right type of doctor, in the right setting, first time. This in line with the philosophy of acute medicine and standards set by the Royal College of Physicians and NHS London. Our team works closely with other departments within the hospital, helping to ensure that patients with complex needs are able to go home as quickly as possible.

Our team includes consultants, specialist registrars, core medical trainees, GP trainees, foundation doctors and nurse specialists, who work together to provide the best possible care for acutely unwell patients. Patients who do not require admission may be seen in the Ambulatory Care Unit, and followed up as an outpatient or referred to the appropriate specialty clinic where necessary.

Our hospitals attract a high concentration of complex cases and as a result we have some of Britain’s leading specialists on our team. All our patients benefit from this expertise. In addition, our teaching hospital status means that we have a higher proportion of doctors and nurses to patients than non-teaching hospitals.

For clinicians

Our hospitals attract a high concentration of complex cases and as a result we have some of Britain’s leading specialists on our team. All our patients benefit from this expertise. In addition, our teaching hospital status means that we have a higher proportion of doctors and nurses to patients than non-teaching hospitals.

Referral information

Patients with emergency medical problems who require a short stay in hospital are referred to our acute medicine services via their GP or via the local emergency department at Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital.

The clinical care of patients admitted in an emergency is shared between our acute medicine and specialty/general medicine teams.

Service contact information

Newham University Hospital 

Observation ward, Emergency Department
Visiting hours: 2pm-8pm, seven days a week
Tel: (observation ward): 020 7363 8687 or 020 7363 8688

The Royal London Hospital

Acute Admissions Unit, 11th Floor,
There are three wards within the Acute Admissions Unit, as follows:

  • Ward 11C. Tel: 020 3594 0614
    Fax: 020 359 43193
  • Ward 11E. Tel: 020 3594 1111 or 020 3594 2809
    Fax: 020 359 43193
  • Ward 11F. Tel: 020 3594 1111 or 020 3594 2809
    Fax: 020 359 43193

Whipps Cross University Hospital 

  • Ambulatory Care Service
    Location: next to the Emergency Department
    Ambulatory Care doctors line- 02085395522 ext:- 6860 and direct line:- 02085356758
  • Emergency Assessment Unit
    Location: at junction 3 of the main hospital corridor
    Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext 5279
  • Emergency Medical Centre
    Location: next to the Emergency Department
    Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext 6027
  • Mary Ward
    Location: junction 11 on the main hospital corridor
    Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext 5446