Critical Care Service
Critical Care services are provided by the Directorate of Anaesthesia and Critical Care. The Intensive Therapy Unit and adjacent High Dependency Unit are located close to A&E, main theatres and the X-ray department.
Equipment and facilities
The intensive therapy unit has eight beds. Two of these are in side rooms which allow isolation of patients and six bed spaces are on the open ward. All bed spaces are equipped with comprehensive networked cardiovascular monitoring equipment and recently purchased sophisticated Drager lung ventilators. All bed spaces are equipped with capnography and there is a blood gas analyser which also provides a service for other areas of the hospital.
A dedicated trolley with full monitoring and other equipment is available for transfer of critically ill patients.
The adjacent high dependency unit has eight beds in cubicles. Bedside monitoring equipment is identical to that in the intensive therapy unit.
There is a seminar room which is also used for staff handovers and for interviews with relatives, visitors rooms and limited office space.
There is a resident junior doctor on the ITU at all times. They each spend six months in Critical Care as part of a multi specialty rotation,
Consultant cover for the ITU during working hours is provided by a group of six critical care specialists but out of hours and at weekends cover is provided by the anaesthetic consultants.
Medical cover for the HDU is provided by the referring teams supported by the critical care consultants on request.
Leadership of the nursing team is provided by a Modern Matron in Critical Care and a Nurse Consultant in Critical Care. The units are staffed to provide team based specialist nursing care with one nurse per patient in ITU and one nurse to two patients in the HDU.
Technical support and care of the equipment is provided by a team of Operating Department Practitioners who are also developing extended clinical roles to support the nursing and medical staff. Each unit has a ward receptionist and there is a data entry clerk to support the units participation in the Intensive Care National Audit.
Critical Care Outreach
There is a nurse led outreach service to provide support for critically ill patients on the general wards.
Follow up and Bereavement Service
All patients and their relatives who have been on the ITU for more than four days are offered follow up after discharge which is provided by two senior nurses and can involve referral to other specialist services.