Critical Care, Intensive Care and High Dependency Care

About us

The critical care unit provides care for the most seriously ill patients at North Devon District Hospital. The unit is staffed by a specialist team of consultants, anaesthetists and nursing staff who work with other teams to provide a Devon wide network of critical care services.

What services are provided?

The unit is able to provide facilities for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of multiple organ dysfunction. This includes advanced forms of respiratory support, cardiac support and haemofiltration. The unit is able to accommodate 8 patients who have been assessed as requiring intensive care (requiring the highest level of technical and nursing care) or high dependency (requiring a higher level of technical and nursing care than can be provided on a general ward). Once a patient’s condition improves and they are no longer classified as requiring intensive or high dependency care; they are moved onto a normal ward.

Children requiring intensive care may be cared for on this unit or may be cared for in the children’s high dependency unit. Babies are cared for on the special care baby unit – see here

Visiting Intensive Care

The entrance to the unit is controlled for security reasons and all visitors are asked to tell reception when they arrive. There is a waiting area for visitors with tea and coffee facilities. We do not allow fresh flowers or potted plants in the ICU because of the increased risk of infection. Being the relative of a patient in ICU can be a very difficult time and we appreciate that you will need to visit more frequently.

On the Intensive Care Unit visiting hours are flexible. The only times that we do not accept visitors are between 1pm and 2pm due to patient rest period, however, there are circumstances where visiting may be permitted following discussion with the nurse in charge. Visitors should also be aware that they may have to wait if the clinical staff are caring for patients.

Please have no more than two visitors at any one time (exceptions may be made please ask) and please do not sit on the patient’s bed.

Follow up clinics

The Critical Care Follow-up clinic provides support and guidance for those patients who have stayed on the unit for more than three days or where a need to follow up has been identified by a healthcare professional. The clinic is run by a multidisciplinary team including medical, nursing and physiotherapy. Clinics are generally run monthly where staff are available to offer support on-site.

Additional and supportive Links

ICU Steps – was founded in 2005 by ex-patients, their relatives and ICU staff to support patients and their families through the long road to recovery from critical illness. There is a lot of useful resources for relatives, patients and children

Intensive care Society – has a useful patient and relative section

Healthtalk – an award-winning charity website, lets you share in other people’s experiences of health and illness. Contains interviews with patients and relatives who have experienced intensive care

Last updated: April 15, 2019