Is SAMBA compulsory?
In a word: No! Participation is entirely voluntary. It is possible that you might be asked about your performance against SAMBA standards for the accreditation of your Acute Medical Unit by external bodies. SAMBA performance is relevant to the Acute and General Medicine Workstream of NHS England’s GIRFT (Getting it Right First Time) programme.

Does SAMBA need to go through the local ethics committee?
No. SAMBA is an audit of local units against Quality Indicators of the Society for Acute Medicine and a number of other standards and recommendations published by NICE and specialist societies. The audit is registered with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership.

What if we can't audit on the 28th of June?
The official audit is running on the 28th of June 2018. By having many units auditing on the same date we hope to tease out the differences between AMUs. But we also know that not all units will be able to make that date. You are free to use the audit tool on any other date for your own quality control. If you want to run SAMBA on another data than the 28th June please get in touch prior to the date.

Do we audit only patients admitted to the Acute Medical Unit?
All patients assessed by the acute medical team are included. Assessments can be made initially in the ED, AMU or in Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) units. We have included data fields to capture the different locations of care during acute medical assessment and treatment.

My trust has several acute hospitals, each with its own AMU. How do we register?
This year, individual hospitals can register separately, even if they are part of the same parent acute hospital trust. When you register, we will ask you for the name of your hospital and acute hospital trust. After SAMBA18 has been analysed, we can give you both your own hospital data, and also a trust wide data summary.

What is the deadline for submission of data?
We are hoping to put results of SAMBA18 up for discussion at SAM’s International conference in Bournemouth in September 2018. In order to do so we would be most grateful of you could get results to us for the latest by the 14th of July.

What is in it for my team?
We will issue certificates of participation for all data collectors and leads of the local teams. Most importantly, you will receive a bespoke report that shows your performance against the performance of the other (anonymised) participating units.

Do I include a patient if he or she has self-discharged prior to being seen by a doctor from the department of Medicine?
We would advise against including patients that have only just been referred by the Emergency Department and not yet seen by Medicine. Given that they have not generated activity in the department we would advise against including them.

When do I get my unit report and what do I do with it?
We are hoping to have unit reports out by the time of SAM Bournemouth in September. Please bear with us, we have been working each year to improve the format and this work is done entirely by volunteers.
We suggest sharing your report locally with all medical teams, medical director and audit department - we get a lot of emails from different doctors from the same unit all asking to have a copy of the report!
We do not share the performance of individual units, but you and your team are free to share the performance of your own unit.

Please feel free to get in touch for more questions not covered in this document via samba@acutemedicine.org.uk.

Dan Lasserson, SAMBA Steering Committee Lead.