We look after patients who require constant monitoring and treatment where conditions may change quickly and be life threatening.
All patients on arrival to Critical Care will have a thorough assessment by the doctors and nurses. During this time, you will be asked to wait in the relatives’ room.
A nurse will be with you as soon as your relative’s condition has been stabilised.
Your relative may be surrounded by a lot of equipment and monitoring, which can appear quite daunting at first. This amount of equipment and monitoring is quite normal in an intensive care unit and your nurse will gladly explain their use if you would like to know.
The bedside nurse can answer any initial questions you have. You will have regular opportunities to speak to the doctors regarding your relatives’ condition and treatment plan. Where possible we will discuss in advance any proposed treatment for your relative. However, in some urgent situations this will not be possible.
Non-urgent advice: We have three critical care units
Whilst being cared for in Critical Care there is a large Multi-Disciplinary Team who each play a vital role in treating patients. Here are a few examples:
Consultant – A consultant leads the Intensive Care team and is supported by doctors training to work in Intensive Care.
Admitting consultant – The admitting consultant is the specialist consultant, for example surgeon, neurologist, etc. They will work in conjunction with the Intensive Care team to make decisions about your relative’s care/treatment.
Nurses – There will always be a nurse providing continuous care for your relative. Care is often provided on a one nurse to one patient or one nurse to two patient basis subject to how critically ill and unwell your relative is. Health care assistants are a vital part of the nursing team on ICU; they work alongside qualified nurses on ICU to provide care for your relative. Allocation of nurses is reviewed on a shift-by-shift basis to ensure that all patients are cared for in a safe, kind, and excellent manner.
Clinical nurse specialists – The specialist nurses provide advice and support to patients and their relatives throughout critical care and following discharge to the ward. Tel 07874 637348 or email the critical care CNSs.
Physiotherapist – All patients will be assessed by a physiotherapist daily and treated as necessary with chest and limb physiotherapy.
Pharmacist – The pharmacist monitors the effect of medicines on patients and ensures the unit has a sufficient supply of medicines.
Dietician – Most patients in NCCU are unable to eat or drink and require nutritional support. The dietician assesses each patient’s dietary requirements, and prescribes the appropriate nutrition care.
Speech and language therapist – Some patients experience difficulty with speech and swallowing during their recovery, the speech and language therapist is able to assess and provide support to overcome any issues.
Ward assistants – The team of ward assistants are responsible for cleaning the ward.
Rehabilitation team – As your relatives progress they may be reviewed by different members of the rehabilitation team, this may include
Your involvement in care
Your relative may be heavily sedated. However, you should always assume that they can hear your voice. Feel free to hold their hand and give them a kiss.
It may be possible for you to assist in certain aspects of your relative’s care, such as washing hands and face, brushing hair etc. Please discuss this with the nurse looking after your relative.
We provide soap, wipes and towels, but it would be helpful if you could bring in a razor, shaving foam, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm and deodorant etc.
Spiritual and psychological wellbeing support
Chaplains from various denominations are always available and can be contacted by the nursing team. Your own clergy or religious leaders are also welcome. There is a Chapel in the main concourse that is accessible 24 hours a day.
A Psychological Wellbeing Service is available to offer psychological support and advice to patients and relatives following admission to Critical Care.