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Society for Acute Medicine Autumn Meeting October 3rd /4th

The regular autumn meeting of the society for acute medicine was hosted this year by Dr Martin Culshaw at Queen ’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. As in previous years, the meeting was spread over two days with the conference dinner at the Nottingham Hilton hotel on the evening between. This was Derek Bell ’s last meeting as President of the society, and in taking over the helm, Paul Jenkins paid tribute to his achievements over the past three years during the after dinner speeches. Emergency Care Tsar, Professor Sir George Alberti, opened the meeting with an enlightened view of the current, and future state of emergency care in the UK. Entitled ‘Emergency Care – nightmare or sweet dreams’ ,he left us in no doubt that the high profile of ‘front-door ’medicine would continue over the next few decades. Derek Bell followed, in his role as clinical lead of the Emergency Services Collaborative, with a summary of the achievements of the Collaborative to date.

The first afternoon comprised three workshops, followed by a plenary session at the end of the day. Liz Myers and Mairi Pollock facilitated the group examining the role of nurse practitioners and nurse consultants at the front door, concluding that such roles need to be developed and encouraged, with the need to standardise practices and training. With contributions from John Heyworth, president of the British Association of Emergency Medicine, Martin Culshaw facilitated the group looking at the interface between A&E and Acute Medicine. The need for close working between these two allied disciplines was emphasised, along with the importance of examining the possibility of dual accreditation in A&E and Acute Medicine. The third group discussed ambulatory care in acute medicine. George Strang from South Glamorgan commented that most patients who were ‘walking, talking sense, eating, drinking and continent’ could be managed in an ambulatory setting. The group echoed the sentiment that large numbers of patients currently admitted to hospital could be maintained in the community, provided the appropriate staff, support and facilities were available.

Management of the septic patient in the ITU setting, the importance of a proactive approach to alcoholism and early management of renal failure comprised the clinical programme over the two days, delivered, respectively, by Dr Paul Glynne, Dr Stephen Ryder and Dr Paddy Gibson.Two excellent presentations of local innovation in Nottingham concluded the meeting. Dr Tim Jobson, specialist registrar in Gastroenterology, described an ingenious database developed at Queen’s Medical Centre designed to improve the quality and learning experience gained from mortality and morbidity meetings in the Acute Admissions Unit. This was followed by a presentation of the modifications made to the MEWS scoring system to render it more sensitive to the needs of acute medical patients. Sister Jane Woollard, critical care nurse educator at Queens Medical Centre described how their modifications had improved both sensitivity and specificity of the score when used on the MAU.

At the annual general meeting of the society which followed the main meeting, Mike Jones was elected to the position of Vice President, while Rhid Dowdle takes over as Secretary. The need for representation of allied health professions on the committee was again emphasised and calls for nominations of such individuals were re-iterated. The twice yearly meeting structure is planned to continue for the foreseeable future, although the Spring meeting will, in future be predominantly clinical in its focus, with more emphasis on organisational issues in the Autumn meeting. The date for the next meeting was confirmed as 22nd and 23rd April 2004, the meeting being held in Bournemouth, hosted by Dr Martin Taylor and Dr Tanzeem Raza. We will eagerly await the publication of the programme, which it is hoped will be on the Society website (www.acutemedicine.org.uk) by the end of December. Further details and application forms for this meeting will be available from society administrator Audrey Deuchars Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 51 Littlefrance Crescent,Edinburgh EH16 4SA


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