Table 1

 Characteristics of the acute medical admissions unit at study and control sites

AMAU, acute medical admissions unit; JHO, junior house officer; SHO, senior house officer; SpR, specialist registrar.
*Number of admissions per doctor/nurse per hour.
Total number of admissions (1 November to 30 April)606559223431 (total)3581 (total)
2320 (medical)2393 (medical)
Mean number of admissions to the AMAU per day33.532.718.9 (total)19.8 (total)
12.8 (medical)13.2 (medical)
Number of medical staff working on the AMAU1–3 JHO, 1–2 SHO depending on the time of day. 24-h cover by an SpR09:00–22:00: 1 JHO. 24-h cover by an SHO or an SpR
Patient/doctor ratio*0.1 to 1.00.2 to 0.4
Number of nursing staff working on the AMAU (excludes shift overlaps)5–8 trained nurses depending on the time and day3–6 trained nurses depending on the time and day
Patient/nurse ratio*0.2 to 0.30.1 to 0.3