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The Guardian unveils Healthcare Innovation Awards shortlist

Primary care health sciences shortlisted for healthcare innovation awards
Dr Dan Lasserson, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

A pioneering acute care service - The Emergency Multi-Disciplinary Unit (EMU) - a collaboration between the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust - has been shortlisted by The Guardian for their 2013 Healthcare Innovation Awards which celebrate and share best practice across different areas of the healthcare sector.

The EMU is a completely new way of rapidly responding to frail, older patients who become acutely unwell and providing assessment and treatment as close to patients' homes as possible. 

EMU is an exciting new way to meet the complex needs of frail, older patients who suddenly become unwell.  It could be a blueprint for the future of healthcare. - Dr Dan Lasserson, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

By using new diagnostic technology such as point-of-care blood tests, the clinical teams can diagnose conditions within minutes of patients' arrival on the unit.  Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing and medical assessments and treatments can be started quickly, allowing patients to go home the same day and have repeated visits over a number of days without having to stay overnight in hospital. 

Patients can be referred to the EMU by emergency services staff or GPs and the Unit runs 7 days a week to provide medical care combining the best components of hospital and general practice care.  

The EMU concept also links to the Royal College of Physicians Report on The Future Hospital.

The EMU has been shortlisted for the service innovation category at the awards and winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Guardian offices on 24th October.

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