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Critical Care Unit

Our Critical Care Unit at Colchester General Hospital is a unit with 11 beds. Here, our staff look after the most severely ill patients. It is recognised that these patients require a higher level of care than patients on general wards, and therefore they need a higher ratio of staff to patients.

Critical Care is a term now used for an area which has two levels of care:

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

There will be patients who would have been cared for in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) sometimes called an Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU). These patients will receive specialist monitoring and equipment to take over the work of one or more of their body's organs such as breathing or the work of the kidneys. There is a nurse allocated to care for each patient 24 hours a day.

High Dependency Unit (HDU)

There will also be patients who would have been cared for in a High Dependency Unit (HDU). These patients require a level of care between intensive therapy and the general hospital wards. Examples would be patients who no longer need intensive therapy but need step-down care or patients admitted from wards, Accident and Emergency (A&E) or Theatres to prevent them requiring intensive therapy. Although the equipment is the same, most patients need less specialist equipment and the nursing ratio is one nurse to every two patients, 24 hours a day.

Information leaflets

pdf icon Critical Care visitors information leaflet

This nine-page A4 size booklet has been produced to help familiarise visitors with critical care and to provide information about the various facilities at Colchester General Hospital.

pdf iconAfter Critical Care

For patients who have recently returned home after being in Critical Care. For many patients this leaflet will be all that you need and has been designed to help ease the transition from critical care to the ward environment and from the ward to home.This also contains information on how to contact the Follow-up nurse if you need further information or support through the Critical Care Follow-up clinic. The same contact details are available to families who require information or support following bereavement in Critical Care.

Have you been affected by a stay in Intensive or Critical Care?

Our Critical Care Follow-up Sister organises drop-in sessions for anyone affected by a stay in Intensive or Critical Care, whether as a patient, relative or friend. It's a joint venture with former patients, who have also helped develop our ICUsteps Colchester website. Join Karen, colleagues and former patients for a tea or coffee, a chat and a chance to meet people who have been affected by a stay in Intensive or Critical Care. Stay as long as you like, whether it's for five minutes or two hours.

Visit the our ICUsteps Colchester website for details of the next meeting.

Here is our press release from 2012 when we launched the drop-in sessions.