About this service

The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit (AEC) provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment with the aim of getting patients home safely on the same day, without the need for an overnight stay.

The Unit is purpose built and provides a mixture of reclining chairs, examination cubicles and procedure rooms.

Suitability for AEC is considered at the point of referral. Patients suitable for AEC will be directed to the AEC reception area where they will be registered and have their initial observations commenced. Patients attending AEC will be required to wait in a seated area and must be self-caring for activities of daily living (or at least accompanied by someone who can support them with these).

Once assessed patients will be made aware of a likely discharge time and will be asked to make their own travel arrangements. Where this is not possible, the team can assist in making necessary arrangements.

Further information can be found in our Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit patient leaflet [link to leaflet].


The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit is located on the ground floor of the main hospital building near to the Aintree Lodge entrance.

The Unit is open between 9am and 11pm, seven days a week however patients attending AEC should arrive no later than 9pm. This is to ensure sufficient time for assessment and treatment.   

The Team

The Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit is staffed by a large multidisciplinary team that includes consultants, nurses and healthcare assistants.

Referral Information

Referrals to the Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit are made via GPs, our Accident and Emergency Department and Outpatient clinics and services.

Patient Aftercare

Following discharge home, a discharge summary is sent to the patient’s GP, giving details of investigations and treatment on the unit, with details of medication on discharge, and any recommendations for aftercare.