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Dr Alexandra Wu

Acute and general medicine

Medical interests: Acute general medicine, health and illness in patients aged over 70. Orthogeriatrics, falls, Parkinson’s disease, dementia. Medical surgical liaison for older people undergoing surgery. Integrated care: Post Acute Care Enablement (PACE). Admission avoidance: Triage Rapid Elderly Assessment Team (TREAT). Rehabilitation.

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About

I specialise in diagnosing health problems in elderly people who are often frail and who usually have several medical conditions, each one complicating the others. My approach is holistic: considering the whole patient is of paramount importance in achieving good results. I have been managing care for older people at the Royal Free Hospital in London for 20 years now. I am currently Clinical Director of Acute Medicine, Health Services for Elderly People and Respiratory Medicine within the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Part of this role involves working in the medical assessment unit, where I see over 1,600 elderly patients as emergency admissions each year. Caring for these patients effectively requires good collaboration with my colleagues in cardiology, renal medicine, hepatology, surgery and intensive care. We pay particular attention to the care needed in the post-acute phase of recovery and focus on short-term rehabilitation to meet the needs of patients who want to get home as quickly as possible.

Expertise

Languages

I am fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Specialist medical interests

My specialist interests include:

•Acute and general medicine

•Managing complex cases: older patients with several illnesses that combine to cause their health problems.

•Multidisciplinary discharge co-ordination: I work closely with colleagues in other specialties to make sure patients go home as soon as they can, but not too soon.

•Liaising with surgical teams about older patients undergoing surgery. This includes:

•Thorough assessment of their health and needs before surgery.

•Acute medical care for the period just after surgery (such as managing acute delirium and giving medication advice).

•Rehabilitation and management to get each patient home as soon safely possible.

•Orthogeriatrics: caring for elderly patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery.

•Falls: risk factors, prevention and care for patients who have fallen.

•Parkinson’s disease, which always requires a multidisciplinary approach.

•Assessing and diagnosing cognitive impairment.

•Rehabilitation (after acute illness, after surgery, after stroke).

•Integrated care to get elderly people back to their life at home.

Conditions diagnosed and treated

Acute medical emergencies such as

•Acute coronary syndrome

•Gastrointestinal haemorrhage

•Acute kidney injuryDiabetesAll respiratory conditions.

Patients with these conditions often have many underlying chronic illnesses in addition to the acute problem that has brought them to hospital. Treating them is often highly complex multidisciplinary team work is necessary. We work to resolve the acute problem and then restore their health so that they can go home safely as soon as possible.

I also work with patients who have:

•Falls that may be due to a combination of factors.

•Any unexplained general decline in health and function

•Any unexplained decline in cognitive function

•Incontinence, or who require bowel care and/or pressure sore care

•Acute delirium

•Parkinson’s disease (I work in a multidisciplinary team to treat all patients with Parkinson’s)

•Had a stroke, providing care after the acute phase and long-term rehabilitation.

Research interests

I am interested in finding out the long term value and impact of an integrated care system on health economy and patient outcome.

 

Medical Background

Medical training

Dr Alex Wu completed her undergraduate training at the Royal Free School of Medicine, London, graduating in 1983. She undertook postgraduate medical training in Acute Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Respiratory Medicine in London, completing her training in 1993 with a Lectureship and Honorary Senior Registrar rotation at St Bart’s Hospital, Homerton Hospital and Whipps Cross hospital. Dr Wu has dual accreditation in General (Internal) Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physician, London in 2001.

Current appointments

Dr Wu was appointed Consultant Physician in Health Services for Elderly People (HSEP) within the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in 1993. Since then she has developed her department into a centre of excellence that now has 11 consultants and a large team of multidisciplinary health care professionals. All are dedicated to providing a comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and community service to older people in North London.

She was appointed Clinical director in Acute medicine and Health Services for Elderly people in 2009 in the Urgent Care Division. Her tenure has been extended and she has since also taken the post of Clinical Director of Respiratory Medicine.

In 2009, Dr Wu was appointed as Clinical Champion for Integrated Care for the RFHLNHST and is the founder and champion of the Post Acute Care Enablement (PACE) and Admission Avoidance (TREAT) programmes now in place. Her expertise is in bringing innovations to the integrated health system, supporting acute admission pathways, community hubs, dementia pathways and care homes. This includes design and development of a new 23-hour emergency assessment unit and an elective ambulatory unit. Her innovations have been recognised by nomination for the Health Service Journal Award of Clinical Leader 2013.

NHS practice

Consultant in Health Services for the Elderly People at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

Availability

 
In clinic
Clinic times*
Mon
 
 
Tue
 
 
Wed
 
 
Thu
In clinic: Yes
Clinic times*: 5pm - 8pm
Fri
 
 
Sat
In clinic: Yes
Clinic times*: 1pm - 6pm

Fees

Dr Alexandra Wu: fees

Type of patient Initial consultation (45-60 minutes) Follow up consultation (30 minutes)
Self pay £300 £150
Insured Recognised and fee agreed with specific insurance companies and embassies Recognised and fee agreed with specific insurance companies and embassies.

* If your policy covers consultations, there will be no shortfall to pay (but you may have an excess on your policy). Please also note that some policies do not cover consultations – always check your policy conditions or contact with your insurer as necessary.

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