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Critical Care

We care for patients with life-threatening conditions and those who need specialist treatment.

Patients may come to us for close observation after planned major surgery. We regularly treat patients who have had unplanned surgery following an emergency such as a car accident.

Who we care for

We have 2 critical care departments – a high dependency unit (HDU) and an intensive therapy unit (ITU). We treat patients who need moreĀ specialisedĀ observation and treatment than we can provide on a non-specialist ward.

Intensive care patients are the most seriously ill. High dependency patients are less acutelyĀ ill.


The ITU/HDU in Wycombe Hospital cares for 5 critically ill patients whilst the ITU/HDU in Stoke Mandeville Hospital has facilities for 12 patients. We treat both intensive care and high dependency patients together in these units.

At Stoke Mandeville HDU/ITU, we also treat patients who have suffered spinal cord and/or other traumatic injuries.

Both units have cutting-edge medical technology and a high staff to patient ratio.

Each unit has a waiting room equipped with tea and coffeeĀ making facilities for visitors. We do not provide overnight accommodation.


Our multi-disciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other health care professionals. At all times a consultantĀ anaesthetistĀ and specialist ward consultant take responsibility for patientsā€™ medical treatment.

Experienced medical staff work on the unit 24 hours a day. All our nurses have specialist training in caring for seriously ill patients.


After we discharge patients, we invite them to attend a follow-up clinic. A nurse and consultant will assess them and make sure their recovery is going well.

We also provide an outreach service at Wycombe Hospitalā€™s HDU/ITU. Our senior nurses visit ward patients who are at risk of their condition becoming worse. They also visit unit patients following their discharge from the unit to the ward.


As well as providing specialist care to patients, we also support and comfort families. We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time and we can arrangeĀ pastoral care for people of any faith.

Find out more about how we support you

Critical Care patient information