When can I visit?
Visiting times are normally flexible for family and close friends. For safety reasons we usually restrict the number of visitors around a patient to two at the bedside at any one time.
The best time for routine visiting is often the afternoon or early evening. We recommend routine visiting between 14:30-19:30. Doctors' rounds and procedures such as X-rays are often carried out in the morning so you may be asked to leave your relative's bedside temporarily. We have a patient rest period from 12.00 - 14.30 as too many visitors can be tiring for critically ill patients.
What does our ICU look like?
The ICU at St Peter’s has nine beds, three of which are in separate cubicles. ICUs do not have separate male and female sections but every effort will be made to ensure that privacy and dignity are maintained.
Entering our ICU
On arrival at the main door of the ICU you will have to press a buzzer (situated to the right hand side of the door) and speak to a member of staff on an intercom to gain entry to the ICU. You will be asked to name yourself and the patient that you are visiting and will be directed either straight into the unit or asked to wait in the Relatives Room.
When you enter the ICU you will need to wash your hands and wear a disposable plastic apron to prevent the spread of germs. On leaving the unit, you will be asked to remove your apron and disinfect your hands with alcohol gel.
Will I recognise my relative?
Your relative may look very different from the last time you saw them. Their bodies may be bruised or swollen if they have suffered injuries. They may be attached to lots of equipment. The doctors and nurses will be able to tell you what to expect.
Can I touch my relative?
Tubes and wires often surround a patient in an ICU. It is usually possible to touch your relative but it is sensible to check with a nurse first.
Can I talk to my relative?
Patients in ICUs are often unconscious, at least during the early part of their treatment. This is often because they are being given drugs to make them sleepy and comfortable. A patient may be able to hear even if they cannot respond. Nursing and medical staff will talk to unconscious patients and tell them what is happening. Feel free to talk to your relative and let them know that you are there.