Acute medicine

The Acute Assessment Unit is the "front door" of the department of medicine for the majority of patients requiring emergency treatment. Patients are admitted onto the AAU either by direct referral from their GP or through presenting at A&E. Experienced doctors can provide rapid assessment and diagnosis, supported by dedicated nursing staff. Unstable patients can be monitored and treated in our high dependency unit (HDU).

The unit works with other departments in the hospital to provide an efficient and modern approach to managing our patients' treatment.

Description of service

The AAU provides:

  • A service dedicated to providing care for all levels of sickness from walk-in/ambulatory to high-dependency.
  • Rapid access to investigations.
  • Faster treatment.
  • A range of diagnostic facilities at the bedside.
  • Infectious disease assessment in isolation areas.
  • Specialists from different disciplines working together to provide care plans for each patient.
  • Dedicated reception and waiting area.

Patients stay on the unit for a maximum of 48 hours before being transferred to the most appropriate area for their care, or discharged with a plan for their treatment. Our aim is to have 30% of our patients discharged the same day they are admitted, and to reduce patients' overall length of stay within the hospital.


Providing the best care

Care in the AAU, the adjacent Short Stay Unit and HDU has been designed using evidence-based treatment plans called "care bundles". The units use these bundles to ensure patients have fast access to the things that help them get better quicker. Our clinicians have re-designed their ways of working in partnership to provide the best possible care for our patients and to dramatically change the way our hospital works.


Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals

The Acute Assessment Unit is situated on Level 4 of Northwick Park Hospital.  The unit includes Dickens ward, Dryden ward, HDU, the discharge lounge, reception and waiting area. The AAU team also provides care on the Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit on Level 6 (Fletcher Ward).

Central Middlesex Hospital

There is no Acute Assessment Unit at Central Middlesex Hospital.


Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals

  • AAU Reception
    020 8869 2513 7am - 9pm
  • Discharge Lounge
    020 8869 6755 8am - 8pm

Consultants and other key staff

View Acute medicine consultants »