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Research Theme 2: Acute Care Interfaces

Acute care

Acute care is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery. In medical terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic care, or longer term care.

The acute care pathway is under unprecedented strain, and hospital bed occupancy has reached dangerous levels. The Royal College of Physicians advocates better integration of hospital, ambulance, social and community care. Decisions to escalate care to acute settings are often part of a default approach to mitigate risk, but this problem can be better managed, as evidenced by the acute ambulatory care units developed by Prof Lasserson. Our aim is to use mixed-methods research to study how interfaces along the acute care pathway function in order to create a resilient acute care system.

Theme lead

Professor Daniel Lasserson,
University of Warwick



  • We will undertake observational studies at interfaces in the acute care pathway for adults and children, including health/social care interfaces.
  • We will develop interventions to be delivered at acute care interfaces and then definitively test them through subsequent rigorous evaluative research.


  • We will determine the changes in processes of care that result in an acute care system across health and social care that is resilient to surges in demand, and can be delivered sustainably as our population ages and becomes more complex through multi-morbidity.