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Despite the increased recognition of the impact of multi-morbidity in an expanding elderly population, acute care remains a high importance area for all healthcare systems and the NHS. Infection is a major cause of acute care and the SPCR continues to have a significant focus on the better elucidation and treatment of common infections, with work on validated clinical decision rules and antibiotic outcomes. Our programme also investigates the highly topical area of antibiotic resistance and appropriate use.

Work has also covered acute illness in children, a particularly sensitive subject for the public – can we detect serious causes of sickness in children earlier? This has encompassed international collaborations across Europe and in Africa, with the pooled data supplied and analysed in the UK.