Critical Care

We are a 10-bedded critical care unit treating patients who have one or more vital organs failing. Some are on a life support or a breathing machine and some may also require support for their kidneys, brain, or cardiovascular system.

Our department is divided into an Intensive Therapy Unit and a High Dependency Unit. The ITU generally provides complex life support while the HDU delivers a higher level of care than a normal ward.  Using the two areas allows us to balance the needs of our patients and maximise the medical and nursing care we can offer.

The may be seriously ill or have undergone major surgery. All are treated on their own individual care needs.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours are generally ‘open’ (at any time). Due to the nature of intensive care, sometimes you may be asked to wait outside before you visit in order for nursing staff to carry out particular care needs. You will be allowed in as soon as the nurses have finished delivering care.

The unit is generally busy between 9 and noon with the doctors’ ward round, nursing care and physiotherapy treatment. It may be best to try to avoid visiting at these times if possible. The best time to see the critical care consultant to ask any questions you have is after the ward round, but we will try our best to answer any questions whatever the time.

The unit will have a nurse in charge of that shift who can be contacted at all times.

Critical Care Outreach/Acute Pain team

The Critical Care Outreach/Acute Pain team are experienced nurses who work daily with the ward based teams to help deliver the best care available. They identify those patients who are deteriorating while in hospital and link in with the critical care doctors to see if additional care can be given. In addition they assess and treat patients experiencing acute pain. They also prepare a patient for step downing from critical care to a ward and support the ward nurses with this change. The clinical site practitioners provide some aspects of this role during the night.


The rehabilitation team consists of an intensive care consultant, an outreach sister, an intensive care sister, several intensive care nurses and members of the physiotherapy team.   A rehabilitation pathway helps to identify patients at risk of developing physical and psychological problems. Patient diaries are available for all critically ill patients, for when the patient is trying to make sense of their intensive care experience. On a monthly basis the rehab/intensive care sister conducts a follow up clinic and a support group has also been established for patients who survive a critical illness to aid their ongoing recovery.

The senior team

Critical Care Matron: Cathy Gavin

Consultants:     Dr Ian Poxon

                         Dr Paul Stewart

Dr Craig Stenhouse

Dr Carol Webb

Dr Patrick Harris

Dr Paul Smith


Contact:            ITU PA Elizabeth Mortlock on extension 4099.

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