Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Special ICU communications notice related to Coronavirus

Sadly, due to Coronavirus restrictions it is not possible for patients on our ICU to receive visitors. We know this is distressing and it creates challenges around sharing information with families about patients’ conditions. Due to the need to increase the number of patients that we are able to care for within Intensive Care our highly skilled teams are working harder than ever to focus on delivering direct clinical care. This means that they are unable to provide detailed patient information to friends and family over the phone in the way that we would normally do.

However, we know how important it is to maintain regular communication with our patients’ loved ones. That’s why we have put in place non-clinical family liaison workers who will be able to provide some information over the phone. We will try to call a patient’s named next of kin on a regular basis with an overview of a patients’ care and condition and we ask that friends and family are understanding of the difficulties we face. The family liaison workers can only share the information agreed by the medical team caring for our patients and as such they are unlikely to be able to answer many of your questions; it is important however that we know the information that you do receive is accurate and appropriate. If you would like to access the family liaison team please call 2742. The liaison team are available between 9am and 4pm.

Our purpose built Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit are based on the first floor of East Surrey Hospital. The ICU has 10 beds for patients needing more advanced organ support, including mechanical ventilation, renal support, and cardiovascular support. A dedicated team of consultants and nurses look after critically ill patients 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The ICU cares for around 600 patients a year.

The ICU team also provides a 24/7 Critical Care Outreach Service for patients who are ill but not severe enough to go to ICU. The Outreach team continues to oversee the care of the ICU patients’ when they are discharged to the ward to ensure their recovery continues.

Some critically ill patients requiring specialist treatment, such as cardiac or neuro surgery, are transferred to other hospitals. The ICU team has a specially designed ambulance transfer trolley (Ferno) which can take equipment like an intra-aortic balloon pump, which provides cardiovascular support to heart attack patients if required.

Follow up consultations

Former patients and their relatives are invited back for follow up consultations, usually 3-4 months after their discharge home. These appointments are led by nurses and offer patients the opportunity to discuss any concerns relating to their illness during their stay in ICU. Recently, the ICU team introduced patient diaries. These help patients fill in the missing gaps in their lives during their stay in the ICU, specifically those who have been in a coma. Once they have recovered, the completed diary, which remains the property of the patient, is returned to them if desired at the follow-up consultation.

As soon as a patient arrives on ICU, their GP is informed, and is kept up-to date with their condition. A detailed account of the patient’s stay in ICU is sent to the GP in the discharge letter.

Contact information

Tel: 01737 768511 x 2736

Tel: 01737 768511 x 6381 or 1670 (direct line 01737 231670)

Lead Nurse For Critical Care
Caroline Allison
tel. 01737 768 511 x 6385

“I can remember the paramedics coming to my flat and put me in the ambulance but I can’t remember any more until waking up in the ICU ward on Tuesday 20th August. The nurses and my 4 children told me what had happened and that I was very lucky to still be here. I must say a big thank you to all your staff and the Ambulance crew for looking after me on that Sunday and to all the staff in the ICU ward you were wonderful and so caring I can’t thank you enough for all you did for me. I am back at home now recovering and feeling stronger each day.”