The Critical Care Unit is a highly specialised area within the hospital. We look after critically ill patients whose conditions can be life-threatening and who need constant, close monitoring and organ support from specially trained health care professionals who deliver intensive levels of care and treatment. We have higher nurse patient ratios and patients in this unit are closely monitored and supported by sophisticated equipment, including ventilators that help patients breathe.
Admission to the Critical Care Unit is usually based on the severity of the patient’s illness rather than their specific underlying diagnosis. Patients may be admitted for a variety of reasons including planned admission following major complex surgery, or unscheduled emergency admission from the ward or the Emergency Department.
Our Critical Care Unit is run and staffed by consultants, specialist doctors and nurses who have undergone extensive training. This multidisciplinary approach is supported by other specialist staff such as physiotherapists, pharmacists, dietitians and speech therapists who may be involved in planning and delivering the patient’s treatment.
We have 23 beds that meet the critical care needs of the adult population (18 years and over) of Dudley and the Black Country, and over 900 patients are admitted per year.
The level of support that patients require is dependent on the individual illness but can include breathing machines (ventilation), a type of kidney dialysis support (hemofiltration), and multiple pumps to deliver drugs to maintain the circulation and blood pressure as well as deliver analgesia and nutrition. Sedation is sometimes necessary to enable some patients to be helped with their breathing but will be the least that is necessary to ensure they are comfortable.
The Critical Care Unit is divided into three areas: Critical Care Unit A, B and C. Each area is managed during the day by a critical care consultant, a registrar and a junior trainee doctor who provide medical care. A senior nurse will coordinate the nursing team 24/7 who will care for patients’ individualised needs.
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.
We participate in the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) and are very active in research.
Matron : Simon Gregory
Deputy Matron: Nicola Thompson
Consultants: Dr Imran Ahmed, Dr Nabeel Amiruddin (Joint Clinical Service Lead), Dr Irmeet Banga (Joint Clinical Service Lead), Dr Helga Becker, Dr Faiuna Haseeb, Dr Emma Leno, Dr Alex Midgley-Hunt, Dr Martin O’ Connell, Dr Chandresh Patel, Dr Darshan Pandit, Dr Michael Reay, Dr David Stanley, Dr Rajvinder Uppal
Critical Care Unit – A – 01384 244070
Critical Care Unit – B – 01384 244204
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is it to be a relative or visitor?
The Critical Care Unit comprises of three areas; A, B &C, with a total of 23 funded critical care beds. We have fantastic facilities and experienced staff to provide the best possible care for your relative.
It is always daunting when you first visit a critical care unit as most people will not have experienced one before. There will be a dedicated nurse looking after your relative and a team of doctors led by a consultant. Continuous assessments of your relative will take place in addition to a formal ward round. Several other medical or surgical specialties may also be invited to offer their expertise.
When patients are first admitted to the Critical Care Unit, they will require a period of assessment, stabilisation and individualised treatment planning. This takes time and it is not unusual for us to need one to two hours to do this thoroughly so that we can provide the highest quality of care. Whilst we will do our best to stick to the visiting times, there may be times when your relative is undergoing a procedure or is having their hygiene needs attended to. Therefore, we may ask you to wait in the relatives’ room until we allow you on the unit. The nurse looking after your relative will keep you informed on how long you may be asked to wait.
We will do our best to keep you informed of your relative’s progress, and will ask you to provide a password, so we can offer information via phone calls too. We also have an option to video call your relatives if, for any reason, you are unable to visit. Please ask your relative’s nurse for any further information.
We understand having a relative in Critical Care can be a very anxious time, and we are here to support you too. Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns with the nursing staff, nurse coordinators or Matron.
All patients are attached to a monitor that shows heart rhythm, pulse and blood pressure. They often receive oxygen from a facemask, or a ventilator (breathing machine) if they need help to breath. You will hear buzzers and see numbers flashing on monitors. Try not to be too unnerved by this. It is quite normal and act as an early prompt to the slightest change in the patient’s condition. The nurse at the bedside will explain all of the equipment when you visit if required.
If at any point you do not understand what is going on or have questions about your relative’s condition, please ask us. We will always keep you updated. It is not uncommon to forget some of the information that you have already heard. Do not hesitate to ask again if you are unsure.
Please remember to use the alcohol gel on your hands when entering and leaving the unit to assist with infection control. The gel is available at the entrances to all three areas on the unit. It is also available throughout the hospital and at the main entrance.
Put one squirt of gel into the palm of your hand and rub hands together quickly until they are dry again (about 30 seconds).
Please turn off your mobile phone and do not use it on the unit. You may use it in the waiting room or outside the Critical Care Unit.
Medical staff often use mobile devices, including phones, to provide mobile resources in the form of “apps. Don’t be alarmed if they are using mobile devices on the Critical Care Unit.
Is there anything you can bring?
We have most essential items that our patients will require during their stay on intensive care.
However, some may prefer their own personal items and toiletries such as:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Liquid soap or shower gel
Comb or hairbrush
Personal toiletries your relative may normally use
Aerosol deodorants rather than roll-on varieties due to infection control
Razor – if electric please make sure it is fully charged
Flannels and towels can get very soiled or lost so are best left at home. We provide both items.
Items that we do not have and may be very helpful are:
Dentures, spectacles and hearing aids to make communication easier
Favourite music CDs or photographs are always appreciated
Any other property will need to be taken home due to lack of space and storage facilities. Anything of value, especially money or jewellery, will be sent to the hospital safe.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept fresh flowers or plants as the soil and water can be hazardous to equipment and an infection risk.