Intensive care and high dependency units support Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust on both acute hospital sites. Although each is individually located and staffed, the approach is that of one team of staff working together to provide the highest standards of care to patients and their families.
There are a total of 18 critical care beds, staffed by a dynamic, supportive and proactive team, influencing critical care for the future.
The units are multidisciplinary, admitting the more complicated elective surgical patients and all general, medical and surgical patients requiring intensive or high dependency care.
Each unit is supported by one-to-one nursing, and there is a consultant on-call 24 hours per day for each sub-unit.
Care is sometimes referred to as level one, two or three (Source: Department of Health - Comprehensive Critical Care):
Level one - Ward based care where the patient does not require organ support (for example, they may need an IV drip or oxygen mask).
Level two - High dependency unit (HDU). Patients needing single organ support (excluding mechanical ventilation) such as renal haemofiltration or inotropes and invasive BP monitoring. They are staffed with one nurse to two patients
Level three - Intensive care. Patients requiring two or more organ support (or needing mechanical ventilation alone). Staffed with one nurse per patient and usually with a doctor present in the unit 24 hours per day.