Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Acute Presentations in Practice

Module titleAcute Presentations in Practice
Module codeHPDM064
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Rob Daniels (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

8 (Exeter)

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Acute presentations form a large part of primary care work. Ensuring that healthcare professionals are adequately trained in this area is important so that serious disease requiring onward referral and self-limiting conditions can be identified and appropriately managed. This taught programme will give you a foundation in assessing patients in a systematic way including practical examination skills, along with access to e-learning material. Experienced primary care practitioners will deliver the teaching along with local specialists as required.
This module is suitable for healthcare professionals that wish to develop their skills in assessing and managing a range of acute conditions that commonly present in primary care.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will encourage you to develop the skills to assess patients with acute symptoms. This practical approach will be underpinned with evidence-based theory. Practical examination skills will be taught and practised, as well as an introduction to clinical signs that are seen in primary care practice. Communication skills techniques for handover information, negotiation and developing shared management plans will be integrated into the learning activities.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Assess and manage patients with acute symptoms that present to primary care
  • 2. Use a range of communication techniques to develop shared management plans with patients

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Make safe management plans (including seeking a second opinion) using own insight into personal competence and experience
  • 4. Apply knowledge and skills to assessing patients including clinical examination

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Communicate effectively both written and verbally
  • 6. Use evidence-based resources to inform practice

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

  • Respiratory illness
  • ENT
  • Ophthalmology
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Identification of sepsis
  • Detection and management of red flags

To ensure flexibility and resilience over the coming academic year, the following changes may be made to the module if needed:

-          Face-to-face scheduled lectures may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos for each topic (15-20 minutes) and/or brief overview lectures delivered via MS Teams/Zoom, with learning consolidated by self-directed learning resources and ELE activities.

-          Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars may be replaced by synchronous group discussion on Teams/ Zoom; or asynchronous online discussion, for example via Yammer or ELE Discussion board.

-          Workshops involving face-to-face classroom teaching may be replaced by synchronous sessions on Teams/Zoom; or Asynchronous workshop activities supported with discussion forum.

-          Skills workshops involving practical skills acquisition demonstrations may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos as pre-learning; or workshop via Teams/Zoom.

-          Written examinations (e.g. timed, invigilated, closed-book formal exam) may be replaced by an online equivalent (e.g. timed, non-invigilated, open-book, online exam).

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities7Seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities7Practical classes and workshops
Guided independent study28Web-based activities located on ELE - preparation for seminars and practical classes
Guided independent study28Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations
Guided independent study80Reading and preparation for module assessment


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
15 multiple-choice questions30 minutes plus feedback1 - 6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Multiple-choice questions test (60 items) 1002 hour1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Multiple-choice questions test (100%)Multiple-choice questions test (60 items)1-6Typically within six weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes




Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Relevant sections of:-

Community Pharmacy: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment– 6 Feb 2017 by Paul Rutter (Author)

Symptom Sorter, Fifth Edition Paperback – Illustrated, 30 Oct 2014

by Keith Hopcroft (Author),‎ Vincent Forte (Author)

Oxford Handbook of General Practice By S.Chantal et al. (Oxford Medical Handbooks) 27 Mar 2014

Clinical Examination: 4 Jul 2008 by Owen Epstein


Freitag, A., Constanti, M., O'flynn, N. and Faust, S.N., 2016. Suspected sepsis: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 354.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Nice (2017) Suspected cancer: recognition and referral

Nice (2008) Respiratory tract infections (self-limiting): prescribing antibiotics


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Clinical pharmacy, acute presentations, minor ailments, minor illness

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date