Department of Critical Care (Cheltenham)
Cheltenham General Hospital
Visiting Times9am - 9pm
0300 422 4013
St Luke's Wing, College Road
The Department of Critical Care (DCC) is a special ward that provides care for people who are critically ill, have an unstable condition or may require close monitoring after surgery.
DCC provides care in a combined intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency unit (HDU):
High dependency care is for patients requiring more care and monitoring than can be given on general wards. One nurse is usually allocated to two patients.
Intensive care patients require constant medical support to keep their body functioning. They may not be able to breathe on their own and they may have multiple organ failure. Medical equipment takes the place of these functions while the person recovers.
As a patient’s condition changes it may be necessary to move to different areas within DCC. Occasionally it may be necessary to move a patient to another hospital or another part of the hospital for specialist care.
How to contact the ward
Telephone number: 0300 422 4013
Please note: Smoking is not permitted in any building or within the grounds of any of our sites.
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Free Wifi is available on all our wards. If you have any difficulty accessing this, please speak to a member of ward staff.
Whilst in DCC, patients will be seen regularly by their own hospital consultant. Their care will also be supervised by a DCC specialist consultant. They will see patients several times each day as necessary, and are continually available to direct treatment and keep family informed of progress. These specialist consultants supervise the DCC for up to a week at a time, changing at the weekend; they are supported by a team of assistant doctors.
Nurses are usually allocated to look after one or two patients at a time and provide much of the daily care. Most of the nurses have received specialist training in Critical Care and are skilled in all aspects of patient treatment. They will also make sure you fully understand the treatment being given and answer any questions you may have. Handover between nursing staff happens at the end of each shift and all aspects of care are passed on to the nurses taking over.
Some of the uniforms you may see in DCC are:
- Modern Matron: - Navy dress/ tunic/trousers, burgundy piping
- Sister: - Navy blue dress / tunic / trousers.
- Charge nurse: - Navy blue top / trousers
- Staff Nurse: - Blue and white striped dress / tunic and navy trousers.
- Male Staff Nurse: - Navy trousers, white tunic with blue epaulets.
- Student Nurse: - Pale Blue top/dress.
- Nursing Auxiliaries / Health Care Assistants: - Green / white striped uniform.
Many other staff help to look after patients whilst in hospital, including specialist nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, radiologists and housekeeping staff.
When a patient is so unwell their condition may change quickly. Therefore the information you receive may sound different on a daily basis. Please ask the nurses or doctors if you are confused or need any further information. The doctors and nursing staff will try to update you regularly on any changes.
- We don’t have strict visiting times but usually recommend visiting in the afternoon. Mornings are usually busier and you may have to wait for long periods. This can be negotiated with the nurses in DCC.
- When a patient is critically ill you will be advised that you may visit at any time.
- We do not limit the amount of time you visit but we do recommend, that you and the person you are visiting are given adequate time to rest.
- We advise that only relatives and close friends visit patients in DCC. This ensures patients receive the rest and quiet which is an important part of their recuperation and enables staff to complete their duties.
- We may have to ask visitors to leave the unit for procedures or examinations. You may have to wait for some time so please be patient and bear with us. If you feel you have been waiting for at least 30 minutes or longer than expected ask the receptionist or phone through to the unit using the phone on the reception desk.
- For the safety and comfort of our patients we ask for no more than two visitors at the bedside at any one time.
- Older children may be able to visit critical care areas but can find it distressing. If you intend to bring children, you will need to speak to the nurse in charge who may need to prepare carefully for their visit.