Critical Care Unit

The Critical Care Unit consists of two separate wards: a nine-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and an eight-bed Surgical High Dependency Unit (SHDU). The Medical High Dependency Unit (MHDU) is located separately on the second floor of the hospital and is now managed by the critical care team.

At the most recent inspection in January 2019 by our external regulators, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the critical care service was assessed as being Good.

ICU treats patients with critical illnesses from any specialty, medical and surgical, as well as giving post-operative support for planned, major surgery. The unit constantly monitors patients’ conditions and can offer advanced support for organ failure of the lungs, heart, kidneys and brain. Support for patients who require help with their breathing is provided by a range of ventilators, while support for problems with heart and blood pressure is provided by the continuous infusion of drugs guided by the use of sophisticated monitoring devices. Dialysis for patients with failed kidneys is also provided.

SHDU provides high dependency care for planned and emergency surgical patients.

MHDU provides Level 2 care for critically ill patients with medical conditions.

Annually, we care for around 400 patients on ICU, 900 on SHDU and 600 on MHDU.

The Critical Care Unit works as a multi-disciplinary team provided one-to-one (ICU) and one-to-two (SHDU) nursing care, regular physiotherapy, pharmacy, microbiology and nutrition advice, in addition to input from patients’ named medical/surgical teams.

The Critical Care Outreach Team is made up of experienced critical care nurses, supported by the critical care consultants. The role of the team is to assist in the general medical and surgical wards in managing their most acutely ill patients through skill-sharing, practical skills, education and advice. The team also reviews all patients discharged from the Intensive Care Unit.

In 2020 we will be starting a multi-disciplinary Rehabilitation of Critically Ill Adults service.

We participate in the national programme of Critical Care audit (ICNARC) and are very active in research with

Visiting times

  • ICU Open visiting 24 hours a day. However, we have a ‘quiet time’ for patients between 1pm and 3pm when we would prefer if patients were not disturbed.
  • SHDU 11.30am – 1pm and 5pm – 8pm
  • MHDU midday – 8pm

Strictly two visitors per patient at a time.

Generally, children under the age of 12 years are not allowed in to the critical care wards as per hospital policy. We realise that exceptions may need to be made and these can be done at the discretion of the nurse-in-charge.

If you are unable to visit at these times, please speak to the nurse-in-charge and we will try to accommodate your needs

Useful links

Key staff

Patient information leaflets

Useful information

This service is available at:
  • Russells Hall Hospital
Where to find us
  • First floor, east wing, Russells Hall Hospital
Telephone numbers
  • (01384) 244649 (Intensive care)
  • (01384) 244204 (Surgical high dependency)

Service details

Clinical directorate
  • Theatres, Anaesthetics, Critical Care and Pain
Management team
  • Dr Nick Parry
    Clinical director
  • Dr David Stanley
    Medical service head
Nursing leads
  • Lesley Leddington
    Matron
  • Lesley Smith
    Deputy matron
  • Stephanie Thompson
    Lead nurse