Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) - Implementing Same Day Emergency Care

"The number one issue facing the NHS in England is reversing the ‘unsustainable’ rise in emergency hospital admissions" Nuffield Institute, 2010

One of the key pressures facing emergency services is that of managing the increased demand for emergency care within a reducing resource of in patient beds and staff.

AEC is an approach which results in a significant proportion of emergency adult patients being managed safely and efficiently on the same day avoiding admission to a hospital bed. 

AEC Delivery Network

In 2011/12 the NHS Institute worked with Trusts, commissioners and Primary care teams in a network designed to support and accelerate the local development of ambulatory care  through the spread and adoption of good practice and utilisation of improvement methodologies.

This cohort was very successful, with teams reporting significant progress in converting emergency admissions into ‘same day’ emergency episodes, reducing avoidable admissions.  Cohort 2 was launched in November 2012, and we will be running a third programme starting in the Spring 2013. This has now reached its maximum capacity of 12 organisationsal members but you can register your interest in joining the Autumn 2013 Cohort.  

The AEC programme is designed as a collaborative and teams from health communities sign up (8 per team). So far we have worked with over 30 health care teams across England to support them to rapidly expand ambulatory emergency care with great results. 

Each programme runs for 12 months and participating trusts are supported in a number of ways. The support includes;

  • 4 National events (8 places at each event)
  • Topic specific master classes (2 a month)
  • Webinars
  • Site visits
  • 1-1 help as needed
  • Expertise on measurement
  • A Return on Investment calculator
  • Measuring patient experience and using experience based design to improve services
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Members web resource repository for all outputs from the programme from participating sites

 A large portion of the programme is delivered remotely but there are a number of physical events. These are;

  • Four National Events (1 every 3 months)
  • Measurement master class
  • Nursing Masterclass
  • Two EBD workshops

“We consider that the AEC delivery network has been fantastic value for money.  The cost of membership is less than we would pay for a project manager for a year, and being part of the network has meant that we have made rapid progress in getting our AEC services going in a short period of time” Programme Lead, Whittington NHS Trust