The best way to find out information about your relative is to contact the unit directly on the numbers provided. 

Useful telephone Numbers​

We understand that this is a very difficult time for you and you will want to know how your family member is progressing. ​

You are welcome to call the unit to receive an update from the bedside nurse however there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Please try and avoid calling during the nursing handover and assessment periods which are 07:45 to 08:45 and 19:45 to 20:45.​

  • Please try and allocate one member of the family to call and who will share information with the rest of the family. ​

  • We try to keep the unit quiet at night for the benefit of the patients so please avoid calling overnight if you can.​

  • Over the phone, the information we can give is more limited to when we are face to face to ensure we give information to the right person and maintain patient confidentiality. We will often ask you what your current understanding is so we can add to that. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may also receive face to face updates from the critical care medical team and/or the specialist team e.g. neurosurgery, neurology. You are also welcome to ask to speak with the nurse in charge.

We welcome visitors to our Critical Care Unit and understand that personal visits provide support and reassurance for patients and their families.​

To ensure that patients have time to rest and to allow us to provide the care needed, visiting is limited to one pre-arranged, two hour slot each day. The time slots are:

  • 11:30 – 13:30​
  • 13:30 – 15:30​
  • 16:30 – 18:30​

Visits should be pre-booked with the unit prior to coming to the hospital site. Please see the contact numbers below:

Only two visitors can be present at the bedside at any one time. If there are more than two visitors, you will need to swap over with each other. Due to the limited space, those waiting to swap in will need to wait outside of the critical care department, for example, in the hospital canteen or outside the hospital. 

Please talk to the nurse in charge before bringing children under 12 to visit.​

Patients in critical care can be more vulnerable to infection therefore it is important that you follow the following guidelines. ​

  • Please stay at home if you are suffering from cold/flu symptoms or vomiting and/or diarrhoea and do not visit until you have been symptom free for at least two days.​
  • Please clean your hands using alcohol gel/foam on entering and leaving the critical care department.​
  • When you enter the critical care unit please wash your hands with soap and water.​
  • Please comply with any infection control guidance from staff including wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • It is not permitted to eat or drink at the bedside.

You will be able to hold your relative’s hand and we can explain some of the things you see at the bedside if you wish. During your visit you are welcome to read to your relative or play them music or shows that you think they will like. ​ ​

If your relative is not able to communicate with us, it is very helpful if you complete an ‘about me’ leaflet/form so we have information that allows us to provide more personalised care to your relative.

Please do not bring clothing or towels unless specifically asked to by a member of staff. If your relative uses any specific toiletries, it can be nice to bring those in along with their usual razor if they use one. A couple of pictures of your loved one and their family are also welcome, and we can place them at the bedside. Please do not bring in things like cuddly toys which we cannot wipe clean. For anything else you may be thinking of bringing please check with the bedside nurse.​

If your relative wears glasses or uses a hearing aid, please do bring these in. Critical care with all its sounds can sometimes be disorienting and being able to see and hear properly can help ease that.

On your first visit please be prepared to take home property that your relative may have come in with for safe keeping.​


Please have your phone on silent on entering the critical care unit and take any phone calls outside of the critical care unit. ​


We do not permit photography on the critical care unit. ​

Interpreters are available for most spoken languages and British Sign Language. We use telephone, video link interpreters and text translation services.​

Let us know as soon as possible if you require a face-to-face interpreter as this can take up to 72 hours to arrange.​

We also have a video translation service which we can access instantly on our ipads in the unit. Please let us know if you would like us to communicate with you using this.