About Us

What is Acute Medicine?

Acute Medicine refers to the immediate and early management of adults in hospital who require urgent or emergency care. Although it is closely linked to Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, it is firmly rooted in the principles of General Internal Medicine (GiM).

Consultants in Acute Medicine work primarily in the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) of a hospital, but may also lend support in the Emergency Department (ED). They review patients who have been admitted, and make immediate decisions on their care pathway - which specialist they should be referred to, or whether they can be discharged. Conditions commonly encountered in this setting include ischaemic heart disease, venous thromboembolism, diabetic complications, cerebrovascular disease, exacerbations of chronic respiratory disease, acute infections and sepsis, complications of drug and alcohol misuse, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Acute Medicine has recently been reinstated as a specialty in its own right, having previously been included as part of General Internal Medicine (GiM). Because Consultants in Acute Medicine assess patients with a wide variety conditions, interactions with any number of other specialties are possible. Specialists also work with other medical professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

Royal College of Physicians

Acute Medicine

Who We Are

We are a dynamic team of 6.5 WTE substantive consultants, 7ACPsACP is an abbreviation for Advanced Clinical Practitioner. To find out more about the ACP role and our team of ACPs click here. and more than 70 nurses working in Acute Medicine at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. We are supported by 2 ST3+ trainees in Acute Medicine, 6 trust grade doctors, 2 ACCS, 1 CMT, 1 F2 and 1 F1 doctor on a rotational basis. We operate around the core principles of teamwork, learning and innovation in order that we can provide the best possible acute medical care for all our patients.

What We Do

The Acute Medicine team at Birmingham Heartlands is responsible for running theAMUAMU is an abbreviation for Acute Medical Unit which is now the preferred title for assessment wards which were previously called Medical Assessment Units (MAUs) or Emergency Care Assessment Units (ECAUs) at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital (BHH). Our AMU is based on Ward 20 and houses a 35-bedded Assessment Area and 10-bedded Chest Pain Assessment Unit (CPAU). The AMU is the hub for the general medical 'take' and accepts all adult referrals to medicine at BHH (approximately 70 patients per day) from ED, primary care (direct GP referrals) and other sources (e.g. specialty clinics). The Acute Medicine team at BHH is also currently responsible for a 19-bedded AMU Short-Stay Unit (Ward 22) and provides Consultant input into the Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) unit located within our hospital's Emergency Department (ED).

What Our Patients Say

Recent feedback from our patients on AMU via Friends & Family Test

Our Consultants


Ariyur Balaji

Consultant Acute Physician

Consultant in Infectious Diseases

Audit Lead


Philip Dyer

Consultant Acute Physician

Consultant Endocrinologist


Meri Alvarez

Consultant Acute Physician

Mortality Lead

Joint Governance Lead


Trish Chakravorty

Consultant Acute Physician


Ali Kamal

Consultant Acute Physician

Consultant Endocrinologist


Clare Pollard

Consultant Acute Physician

Our Nurses

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Other Members Of Our Team



Assessment and



Bleep: 0213 / 2091

Mon-Fri: 08:00-17:00

Sat-Sun: 08:00-16:00

Who are we?

We are a team of experienced senior Occupational Therapists (OTs), Physiotherapists (PTs) and Therapy Technicians with detailed knowledge of, and access to, locally available social and care support services. We have strong links with the community and excellent working relationships with the departments of Acute Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Elderly Care at Birmingham Heartlands.

Which patients do we see?

We currently see patients in ED, CDU, AMU (Ward 20) and ECAU (Ward 21) who present with falls, decreased mobility, reduced function, social issues or crises in care. Patients must be medically suitable for discharge (with no pending investigations that could alter the discharge decision) and have additional / new physical, functional or social care needs.

What do we aim to do?

  • prevent unnecessary hospital admissions
  • reduce length-of-stay in hospital
  • reduce risk of recurrent falls and re-admissions to hospital
  • facilitate safe and patient-centered discharge

What can we provide?

  • immediate access to chest physiotherapy (during our hours of work)
  • immediate access to a range of social support services at home
  • rapid provision of equipment and aids with access to specialist technicians
  • immediate domiciliary / site visits if required
  • urgent transfer to respite or rehabilitation beds
  • temporary care home placement if required

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