Care Unit/High Dependency Unit (ICU/HDU) is a critical care
area where we care for a wide range of sick patients who require
organ support and close monitoring.
An Intensive Care Unit is also sometimes known as a critical
care unit or an intensive therapy unit. We admit over 800 patients
per year to the unit for intensive care or high dependency care.
There are several reasons why a person may be admitted to an
Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit, for example, following
surgery, or after an accident or severe illness. The unit provides
specialist monitoring, a high level of medical expertise and
constant access to highly trained nurses.
Being in an ICU can be a frightening experience both for the
patient and friends and family. All healthcare professionals who
work in ICU understand this and aim to help and support both
patients and families during their time with us.
Patients will be discharged to an appropriate ward for
continuing care when they no longer require intensive or high
Visiting hours are normally flexible for family and close
friends. For safety reasons, we usually restrict the number of
visitors at a patient's bedside to a maximum of two at a
We have a daily quiet period for part of the afternoon (between
2pm and 4pm) to allow patients to rest. The best time for routine
visiting is often late afternoon or early evening.
The unit is particularly busy during the morning due to patients
being reviewed by the Medical Team, receiving Physiotherapy and
receiving nursing care, such as a bed bath. During this time
you may find that you are asked to wait in the visitors' room for
prolonged periods to enable our patients to receive this essential
Too many visitors can be very tiring for patients and therefore
we ask that visitors discuss visiting hours with the nurse looking
after each individual patient.
Due to limited space, we are unable to keep large amounts of
property. It is helpful if we can have toiletries, personal
photographs and a shaving kit if needed.
Due to the nature of the ward, it is a secure unit. All visitors
to the unit need to use the intercom system on the wall outside to
gain access to the unit.
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© 2017 Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust