ambulatory emergency care



thinkpublic worked with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to design, develop and prototype patient experience touch points, for the new NHS Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) service.


We also created a short animation to help explain and introduce the service to healthcare professionals, which you can watch to find out more about Ambulatory Emergency Care and how it all works.


Our work began by visiting three AEC sites across the country, immersing ourselves in the service and capturing patient and staff experiences of the services. We ran workshops with members of staff to identify which elements of the service experience were working well and which could be improved. Some examples of our findings included observations that:


  • the word ‘Ambulatory’ confused patients

  • there was not enough information given to patients about the service before they arrived

  • the reclining chairs used on the ward rather than beds made “patients feel less poorly”

  • patients were happy to wait if they were informed why they were waiting

We collated our findings and shared them with AEC departments across the country, enabling them to make quick and simple improvements their services. One site even became overrun off the back of our improvements due to patient recommendations!

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