Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The Intensive Care Unit/High Dependency Unit ICU/HDU is on Level 3 of North Devon District Hospital. We provide specialist care for adults and children while they are seriously ill and require constant monitoring, specialist equipment and medicines to maintain normal bodily function.

Visiting times for Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Visiting is still limited at NDDH and South Molton to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and we ask that  other methods are used instead where possible, such as video calls, letter printing etc. Please speak to the patient experience team who can assist with this

From 12 January, visiting is allowed as follows:·

  • Adult inpatients may have one named visitor for the duration of the inpatient stay, who may visit once per day, for one hour between 11am and 7pm. Visits must be booked with the ward at least one day before visiting. Visiting will not be routinely permitted on COVID-19 wards, except for exceptional circumstances as listed below and must be agreed with the nurse in charge.
  • If there are specific reasons of safety – Dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly.
  • Inpatients under the age of 18 years old – One parent/guardian only. When social distancing can be safely maintained, for example at quiet times, both parents/guardians may be able to visit – this is at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
  • At outpatient and diagnostic appointments where a patient may need emotional support they can be accompanied by one person from the same household or support bubble.
  • Admission areas e.g. ED/MAU/SAU will have the discretion to allow one person to accompany the patient to ensure the correct patient history etc is obtained.
  • A patient receiving end-of-life care can be supported by up to four named visitors from the same household or support bubble.

NDHT maternity visiting and appointment restrictions

  • One partner or designated individual (no children permitted) is able to attend all ultrasound scans and any subsequent appointments with doctor or midwife. They must remain outside the Ladywell Unit until invited in.
  • One partner or designated individual (no children permitted) is able to attend all midwife appointments in community settings – community hubs and GP surgeries. They must remain outside until invited in.
  • If a woman is being induced, they can have a partner or designated individual attend with them between the hours of 9am and 8pm. Outside of these hours our staff will continue to contact partners and ask them to attend the unit if, due to pain or distress, support is required.
  • One partner or designated individual can visit Bassett Ward between the hours of 9am and 8pm.
  • If a woman is being cared for in labour ward or in theatre, they can have one birth partner with them. This is usually when they are in labour, having a caesarean or in the immediate postnatal period.

We’d like to reiterate that if a mum-to-be is being induced and is in pain or distress, we will contact their partner and ask them to attend, regardless of what time of day it is.

Need to know before you visit

1. All visitors will be asked to confirm that they have completed a negative lateral flow test on the day of the visit. Please note that while visual confirmation/proof of a negative lateral flow is not required, we ask that all visitors please take a lateral flow test within 24 hours and confirm this negative result when booking your appointment to help us keep our patients, staff and other visitors safe.

These tests can be obtained free of charge online or can be collected from a local pharmacy. Please see the NHS website for details. The tests are simple to complete and the results need to be registered at:

2. A face covering must be worn at all times, including when entering and moving through an NDHT healthcare setting, unless medically exempt from wearing a mask.

3. Please do not visit if you or someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have recently had contact with someone with COVID-19

We understand how important visiting loved ones in hospital is but we know that some can feel anxious about coming into the hospital at the current time.

Below is some practical advice to prepare for your visit and what to consider when you are visiting:

  • When you book a visiting appointment our staff will advise you on what to expect when you attend the hospital, what to do on arrival, how long the visiting appointment is and what to do when it is time to leave.
  • Please bring as few personal belongings as possible with you e.g. bags, handbags, electronic devices, gifts and food for the patient.
  • Visitors should remove outer clothing e.g. coat or jacket; sleeves should be rolled up and hands cleaned.
  • In addition to wearing a face covering some visitors may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff will guide and support you if this is the case.
  • Please do not remove your face covering at any time when visiting, for example to kiss relatives.
  • Adequate social distance must be maintained at all times and in all areas of the hospital.
  • We recommend going to the toilet and having had a small drink before visiting to help avoid the need to remove face coverings (or PPE) and put it back on during the visit.
  • Visitors do not need to self-isolate following the visit as by performing hand hygiene and where required wearing PPE they are unlikely to present a risk to those they encounter.
  • Our staff are available to provide any support or comfort during or after the visit, we know this is a difficult time for many people.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Alternatives to visiting

Video calling

If the patient does not have their own device, we can facilitate a call to friends and family in place of a visit. Please speak with the nurse in charge who will be able to arrange this for you. Please note – calls have to be booked in advance and are subject to availability.

Ready to start your arranged video visit?

All you need to do is select the ward below.

Select a ward (please do not enter a waiting room unless you have pre-booked an appointment):


If you would like to send letters, drawings or cards to your loved one you can email them to placing “PATIENT COMMUNICATION” in the subject line and adding the patient’s details to the email. Attachments will be printed and delivered to the patient.

We realise that these times can be distressing for patients and their loved ones, and we are sorry that we must restrict visits to hospital to protect patients and staff during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Thank you for your support and understanding

Correct at January 12, 2022


Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Manager/Sister

Juliet Parkin

Ward phone number

01271 322707

Email address

Last updated: January 11, 2022