The Acute Medical Unit

The Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) receives acutely ill medical patients from primary care via GP referral and referral from the Emergency Department. The unit is divided into MAU Thrushel and MAU Tavy. The unit is supported by the Acute GP Service and the Rapid Response Team.

MAU Mission Statement

To develop a department that works continually to improve patient-centred care, focusing on a professional, multidisciplinary approach, supported by respect, best practice, good communication, and a willingness to change the way we work.

MAU Assessment

On arrival all patients are assessed by a nurse and doctor with the most seriously ill patients seen first. Initial investigations such as blood tests, X rays and an ECG may be requested and an initial management plan decided. A duty Emergency Consultant will review all emergency admissions regularly. Formal ward rounds take place twice a day. Patients are then transferred to the acute medical ward, a specialist ward, or discharged home. 

Ward Managers

Thrushel Ward Manager and Charge Nurse: Nigel Booth

Tavy Ward Manager and Sister: Alison Griffiths


Dr Girish Bommayya                      

Dr Aileen Coupe                              

Dr Kate Evans                                   

Dr Nirosha Gunatillake                  

Dr Rebecca Herbert                       

Dr Austin Hunt                                 

Speciality Doctor

Dr Helen Parker-Bray                    

Medical Secretaries

Murdina Andrews (01752 438290)

Rebecca Frost (01752 438290)

Sarah Skelton (01752 439289)

Rapid Response Team:

The rapid response team consists of an occupational therapist, social worker and administrator, supported by a physiotherapist. They provide support for patients requiring additional help with mobility or social care once they leave hospital and facilitate timely discharge from the unit. 


The Medical Assessment Unit is located on Level 6. 

Contact Numbers

Thrushel - 01752 439478
Tavy - 01752 439475

Acute GP Service (AGPS)

This is a hospital based primary care service designed to facilitate choices for patients and clinicians when a request for an urgent medical admission is made. 

The service was launched during October 2005 to consolidate previous work undertaken to address escalating admission rates. The main drivers included: 

  • The need to address patient, carer and clinician choice 
  • Recognition of increasing divisions between primary/secondary care, and social services 
  • The development of the Intermediate Care agenda 
  • Payment by Results 
  • The innovation is also testing the assertion that by providing peer-to-peer dialogue relating to a request for an urgent admission, alternative choices can be presented to the patient that are equally responsive. 


Acute Medical Unit, Level 6, Derriford Hospital

Work of the Department 

During operational hours the AGPS: 

  • Receives community requests for adult medical admissions 
  • Identifies needs of both patient and carer, and seeks to address them in the most expedient manner 
  • Supports the Intermediate Care Team with the development of alternatives to acute hospital admission 

The AGPS mission is to promote choice and ownership within each episode of urgent care. It provides a responsive service and ensures: 

  • The patient’s choice is always an informed one, 
  • Decisions are made with them, rather than for them, about where the most appropriate care can be provided and, 
  • Risk management plans are discussed and agreed upon. 

It also provides an opportunity for GPs and hospital Physicians to challenge traditional ways of working, and to build relationships enhanced by mutual respect, trust, and an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Strong leadership from the outset has ensured the ultimate aim of patient involvement in their care has been delivered. In addition: 

  • Early data analysis demonstrates a positive impact in reducing urgent admissions (by 34% during service operational hours) 
  • The service is actively exploring the opportunity to widen it’s clinical involvement beyond acute adult medicine 
  • There has been communication from neighbouring Trusts interested in developing similar services 
  • High level engagement across organisations has ensured released funding through reduced admissions can be diverted into the services patients require in order to manage their care with confidence outside of hospital


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