Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU)

Intensive Therapy refers to patients requiring Intensive Care or High Dependency Care. Our 5 bed unit cares for around 350 patients every year.

Intensive Therapy is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life threatening conditions. Patients in Intensive Therapy require close monitoring and support from equipment and medication to keep normal body functions going. They may be unable to breathe on their own and have multiple organ failure. This type of care cannot be provided on a typical ward, as highly specialised devices are required, along with the personnel who are trained to use it safely.


High Dependency Care refers to a level of care higher to that which can be provided on a typical ward, but not so advanced as Intensive Therapy. This level of care is often given to patients after major surgery or emergency procedures who are still unstable, and patients who are deteriorating despite maximal efforts on the ward.



You can find ITU on the top floor of the hospital. Turn left down the long corridor as you come up the stairs or out of the lift.
Our telephone number is 01934 647132.

Matron on ITU is Saffron Flower

Ward Manager is Elaine Jones



We have a dedicated team of nursing staff with intensive care qualifications who care for the patients twenty four hours a day. The team is managed by three senior sisters.  As a general rule, there is one nurse per patient in Intensive Therapy areas, and one nurse for two patients in High Dependency care areas. We also run a Critical Care Outreach Team, to follow up patients who have been discharged from the Unit to the general wards and ensure continuity of care. The Outreach Team may be called by ward staff for help and advice about any severely ill patients. We are also supported by a Physiotherapist, a Pharmacist and a Dietician.


Our Critical Care Unit is managed medically by six Consultant anaesthetists  who have a special interest in this field of medicine, Dr David Crossley, Dr Ammar Naser, Dr Szabold Rugonfalvi-Kiss, Dr Pavol Sukenik, and Dr Ioannis Tsagurnis. A doctor is also resident on the unit for 24 hours a day. We are part of the local Critical Care Network, whereby all Hospitals with full Critical Care status can share problems through regular meetings and educational events.


Available services

Our unit has facilities for treating severe, life-threatening illness. We commonly deal with respiratory failure, heart and circulatory failure, kidney failure, severe septicaemia (blood poisoning), and many others. We are also skilled in transferring critically ill patients to specialist centres, for example, Southmead Hospital for head injuries, and the Bristol heart institute for severe heart problems.



Standards of Care 

Our work is compared with that of around 200 other units in the United Kingdom, to ensure appropriate standards are achieved. We have attained “Level Three” status, the highest level of Critical Care. Our results are consistently better than the national average. We are also performing well in the prevention of MRSA and C.diff infections.



Visiting hours are 11am to 7pm.

Our daily ward round tends to run between 8.30am and 11.30am; during that time, we may ask you to briefly leave the bedside so we can examine your relative and make a treatment plan for the day. 



Once a patient no longer needs intensive or high dependency care we organise for their discharge to an appropriate ward, where they continue their treatment and/or rehabilitation. The transition from a highly monitored ICU environment to a regular ward can be disconcerting, especially for patients who have been with us for more than a few days. To ease that transition, the team from the ICU/HDU make daily visits to our ex patients on the wards until they are satisfied they no longer need to be reviewed.


Research and audit

We are taking part in several national research projects, which vary over time. On occasion we may approach you or your relative to take part in one of these studies. The exact nature of the study and what it will involve will be explained carefully to you. You are under no obligation at all to take part, and you can be sure that we will look after you to the best of our abilities whether or not you choose to enter the study.

Anonymous patient data is also used to monitor our performance. We run our own internal audits, and take part in the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre programme, ICNARC.


Further information

Being a patient or having a relative on an intensive care unit can be a very worrying experience. Patients who have life-threatening problems often take weeks or months to regain their health. Whilst there are many sources of information available, a good place to start is the ICUsteps website. This is a charity established to help understand the issues surrounding ICU.

More information can be found at the Intensive Care Society relatives and patients section, and at NHS uk - Intensive care - how it works.

We also keep a selection of information leaflets on the unit, please ask the nurse in charge for them. 

All critically ill patients with next of kin consent will have a patient diary. This is a record of what has happened to them during their time of being unwell. Both medical staff and family and friends can write in the diary. This is returned to them at an appropriate time.