Same-day emergency care (SDEC) for people with medical conditions is now routine practice across the NHS. The benefits in terms of improved patient flow, reduced bed occupancy and enhanced patient safety are well recognised.

There has been growing momentum amongst surgeons to integrate surgical ambulatory emergency care (SAEC) into their practice. In surgery, the benefits ambulatory care brings to patient flow and bed occupancy also flow into elective care, reducing cancellations and disruption.

The ASGBI in its guidance on patient management during the COVID-19 pandemic emphasised the need to ‘increase ambulatory services and minimise hospital attendances / bed occupancy’.

The Ambulatory Emergency Care Network played an important role in moving SDEC from the side lines to the mainstream and is now working with surgeons to support progress with SAEC.  Launched in 2017, the one-year programme is hugely successful and appreciated by the many clinicians who take part.  The fifth cohort started in 2019, with participating trusts implementing their programmes ahead of schedule to better manage care during the pandemic.

The Surgical Ambulatory Emergency Care Network uses the proven ‘collaborative’ model developed by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Teams from health communities sign up and work individually and collaboratively to implement SAEC in ways that respect local context and resourcing.

More information on the next cohort of the SAEC Programme can be found detailed in the flyer below.

SAEC Flyer 2021