The critical care unit is an area of the hospital that caters for patients that require a high level of specialist care. Our unit admits around 1000 patients a year. We have an experienced team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, radiographers, health care assistants and other health professionals.
Our unit admits patients from the wards that are deteriorating; post-surgery from theatre; and/or emergencies that all require critical care. Patients in the unit are constantly monitored so that changes in their condition are noted immediately and responded to appropriately.
The Critical Care Unit is situated on C – Floor and consists of:
The Critical Care Unit is situated on the top floor of the Nightingale wing and consists of:
If your loved one has been in critical care for more than one week (and you visit every day), you can ask us for a concessionary car park permit. Please speak to the bed space nurse or nurse in charge to help you apply by completing a form. Once submitted, this form will be processed on the next working day.
Otherwise you will have to pay as per car park charges – click here for the parking fees link
For relatives of patients who would like to stay overnight we may be able to offer accommodation, however there may not always be vacancies. Alternatively there are many local hotels/bed and breakfasts. If you need any assistance please speak to a bedside nurse or nurse in charge.
It is always daunting when you first visit the Critical Care Unit
When patients are initially admitted they will require a full assessment, stabilisation and an individualised treatment plan. This may take some time but is necessary to ensure we can provide the highest quality of care for your loved one. We will try and keep you updated during this time and allow you to see them at the earliest opportunity.
All patients are attached to a monitor that shows their heart rhythm, pulse, blood pressure and oxygen level. They often receive oxygen from a facemask, or a ventilator (breathing machine) if they need help to breathe. You will hear alarms and see numbers flashing on monitors. Try not to be unnerved by this. These are sets to alert the bedside nurse to any changes. The nurse at the bedside will explain all of the equipment when you visit as well as care required.
We limit visitors to 2 per bed space as space is limited.
You can come and visit your loved one at any time, however sometimes we may ask you to wait in the relative’s room. The doctors will be discussing care and needs for all of the patients, so for the confidentiality purpose we will ask you to take a seat in the visitor’s room.
We also have a “quiet time” for your loved one between 2pm and 4pm where we reduce the noise and clinical interruptions were possible. This enables rehabilitation and during this time of rehabilitation we encourage non-clinical activities like games, placing patient’s photographs and/or favourite pictures on the board. We will encourage you to bring cards, drawings, photographs etc. We can offer patients ear plugs and blindfolds if they want to sleep.
The relatives room have facilities to make coffee and tea. Additionally, there are other facilities available in our hospital.
We are happy to answer all questions regarding your loved one. Please ask a bedside nurse for details. Additionally, twice daily, there is a ward round where each patient’s treatment and further care is discussed. For long term patients a weekly multidisciplinary team meeting is taking place.
Flowers are not permitted in the unit as they can be an infection risk to our patients and we ask that you switch off your mobile phone when visiting the unit. If you need to make a phone call, you can do so in the corridor or waiting room.
If you have been a patient in Critical Care you will have a diary that has daily entries in it to fill in any missing gaps as to what happened whilst you were critically ill. Patients often having gaps in their memory. A person may remember, as a result of their illness, nightmares, hallucinations or even feeling that someone was trying to hurt them. To help patient to understand what has happened and bridge the memory gap the patient diary was introduced.
This diary is written by healthcare staff, mostly by bedside nurses. However, we would like encourage family members to make entries of what is happening as well as about important events at home which were missed by the patient. It is written in everyday language and explains patient condition on daily basis.
Diaries will accompany the patients to a ward and later can be taken home when discharged. Alternatively, the unit can store a patient’s diary up to 6 months should they not want it initially on discharge but can be given to them upon request.
Being critically ill can be extremely stressful for patients and for those close to them. We are one of the few critical care units in the country that provides specialised clinical psychology support for low mood, anxiety and trauma that you can sometimes experience when being treated for and recovering from critical illness.
Support can be in the form of bed side support while you are in critical care, or help in accessing further support once you leave our unit. The Psychology service forms part of our multidisciplinary approach to provide care and rehabilitation that address both the physical and emotion impact of your critical illness.
Religious and spiritual support
There is always spiritual support available 24 hours a day and a chapel on B floor is always open. Please ask a member of staff for further details.
Patients on ITU and HDU are seen daily by a physiotherapist and are supported in their rehabilitation by the whole team including a dedicated rehabilitation assistant.
We also have a range of activities available to patients in order to assist with rehabilitation and general well-being. Our activity box includes games, colouring, reminiscence cards and sewing activities. If a patient is well enough, and we have enough staff, we support them to get some fresh air in one of the hospital gardens. We also have the support of a clinical psychologist, chaplains and other professionals who can contribute to the holistic approach of caring for our patients.
Our long-term patients are given an orientation board which provides them with information about their stay. We also encourage relatives to bring family photographs or familiar objects in, to assist their loved one in their recovery.
The table below gives an example of a rehabilitation plan for each day of the week.
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
Intensive Care Unit
01256 313560 / 01256 313561
High Dependency Unit
01256 314778 / 01256 313976
Royal Hampshire County Hospital
ICU / High Dependency Unit
01962 825038 / 01962 825037
Intensive care guide
The UK Sepsis Trust