The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is located on the fifth floor and provides a world-class level of care for the sickest patients in the hospital. There are ten beds with each bed space equipped to the same high specification, with a system which provides vital monitoring and delivers drugs from an overhead unit. This reduces the need for wires and cables and means that life-saving equipment can be swiftly moved around the bed.

The majority of patients are admitted because they need urgent medical and nursing treatment. Patients may be admitted directly to the ICU from the Emergency Department for a variety reasons, such as cardiac arrest, road traffic accident or collapse. Patients may also be transferred from other parts of the hospital if changes in their clinical condition means that they need the specialist skills provided by the ICU.

Some patients will be very ill and will need to go on a breathing machine and be very closely monitored. Each patient has an identified nurse and will be visited several times each day by the doctors looking after them to ensure they receive the best possible care.

The entrance to the unit is controlled for security reasons and all visitors are asked to tell reception when they arrive. There is a waiting area for visitors with tea and coffee facilities at a nominal charge. We do not allow fresh flowers or potted plants in the ICU because of the increased risk of infection and we also ask that all mobile phones are turned off.

Being the relative of a patient in ICU can be a very difficult time and we appreciate that you will need to visit more frequently.

On the Intensive Care Unit visiting hours are flexible. The only times that we do not accept visitors are between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Patients need rest and visitors are asked not to spend too long on the ward as this can be stressful and tiring for the patient. Visitors should also be aware that they may have to wait if the clinical staff are caring for patients.

Please have no more than two visitors at any one time (exceptions may be made please ask) and please do not sit on the patient’s bed. We advise that children do not visit, but where allowed we ask that they are kept under close supervision for the comfort and safety of all.