Cheltenham General Hospital


St. Luke’s Wing, College Road, GL53 7AN

The Department of Critical Care (DCC) is a special ward in Cheltenham that cares for people who are critically ill, in an unstable condition, or need close monitoring after surgery.

DCC provides care in a combined intensive care unit (ICU) and a high dependency unit (HDU). As a patient’s condition changes, they may be moved to different areas within DCC.

The doctors and nursing staff will try to update you regularly on any changes, but you can always ask them for more information.


When a patient is so unwell, their condition can change quickly and the information you get may be different on a daily basis.

Intensive care unit (ICU)

Patients in intensive care need constant medical support to keep their body working.

They may not be able to breathe on their own, and they may have multiple organ failure. Medical equipment will take over these functions until the patient recovers.

High dependency care (HDU)

High dependency care (HDU) is for patients who need more care and monitoring than they can be given on a general ward.

In HDU, one nurse will usually care for no more than two patients at a time.


We don’t have strict visiting times but usually recommend visiting in the afternoon, as mornings tend to be busier. When a patient is critically ill, you can visit at any time.

We don’t limit the amount of time you spend with patients, but we recommend that you and the person you’re visiting are given adequate time to rest.

Only relatives and close friends should visit patients in DCC, so that patients get the rest and quiet they need to recover. We also ask for no more than two visitors at a time.

Older children may be able to visit critical care areas, but they may find it upsetting.


If you plan to bring children, speak to the nurse in charge first as they may need to prepare for their visit.

Ward staff

These are some of the uniforms you may see in DCC:

  • Modern matron: navy dress, tunic or trousers, with burgundy piping
  • Sister: navy blue dress, tunic or trousers
  • Charge nurse: navy blue top and trousers
  • Staff nurse: blue and white striped dress, or tunic and navy trousers
  • Male staff nurse: navy trousers, white tunic and blue shoulder pieces
  • Student nurse: pale blue top or dress
  • Nursing auxiliaries and health care assistants: green and white striped uniform

Many other staff also help look after patients during their stay in hospital, including specialist nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, radiologists and housekeeping staff.