Intensive Care Unit 

The Intensive 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 dependency care.


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 time. 

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 care.

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. 

Personal belongings

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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