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Critical Care

About the service

Critical Care provides care to unstable or critically unwell patients. It is also referred to as Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and High Dependency (HDU). Patients may be admitted as an emergency due to serious illness, injury or urgent surgery, or admission may be planned after routine but complex surgery.

There are three Critical Care units at our Trust, one in each of the hospitals, but they are seen as one Critical Care Department.  Each one provides facilities to ensure we can respond to the specialties based at each site, whilst the three together can respond to the needs of all our patients.

The care on each unit is co-ordinated and delivered by a multidisciplinary team led by a Consultant in Critical Care Medicine, consisting of Critical Care doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists and speech and language therapists.  The Critical Care team work in conjunction with other specialists eg microbiologists, surgeons, radiologists and physicians to provide all aspects of care for critically ill patients. We also provide an Acute Response Team across all three sites that aids in the identification and treatment of any patient thought to be at risk of deterioration.


Leicester Royal Infirmary: 17 Level 3 mixed medical and surgical ICU beds

Glenfield Hospital: 19 Level 3 mixed medical and cardiac ICU beds incorporating the SARF (severe acute respiratory failure) and ECMO units.

Leicester General Hospital: 9 Level 3 mixed medical and surgical ICU beds


The nursing staff will be able to advise you on visiting times within each unit and what would be appropriate for your loved one in terms of their care requirements. We understand this time is extremely stressful and families or carers may have to work around their own personal commitments. We aim to be as flexible as possible in order to meet the needs of our patients and relatives.


The team are always happy to discuss any questions you may have. Each of the units has information leaflets available with useful advice covering a range of questions relatives or carers may have. Alternatively a very useful booklet is available on the ICU steps website here.

Links to useful websites

You can find accessibility information for Leicester General Hospital here.

You can find accessibility for Leicester Royal Hospital here.

ICU Steps (intensive care patient charity)

NHS Choices Critical Care (sources of information and support)