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Critical Care

Critical Care Unit

Welcome to our Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) which comprises the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Neonatal Surgical Unit (NSU).

PCCU is a regional lead centre and we receive patients from across South Yorkshire and nationally. In 2015/16 we had 497 admissions in ICU and 417 in HDU.

Patients range from 0-18 years and can be with us from a few hours to several months depending on their needs.

Our team provides specialist care for infants, children and young people with a wide range of medical and surgical conditions including acute infections, trauma, neurological conditions and cancer.

Coming to the Paediatric Critical Care Unit

On arrival at PCCU you will be greeted by one of our ward clerks who will direct you to where you need to be.

You may be asked to wait in the visitors’ room for a short time and a nurse will come and speak to you.

PCCU has open access for parents 24 hours a day and we have a family room with comfortable seating and free tea and coffee.


You are welcome to stay with your child day and night. Other children and your immediate family are also welcome, however it is not advisable for very young children to visit. Other relatives and friends can visit with your permission and at the discretion of nursing staff.

For the comfort and safety of all patients we ask that the number of visitors at your child’s bedside is usually no more than two or three visitors at a time.

As the children on the Intensive Care Unit are more prone to infection it is very important that all parents and visitors wash their hands and remove outdoor coats on entering the unit. Please inform the nurse looking after your child if you have a cough or cold or if you have been in contact with any infectious illnesses.

Please note that door locks and CCTV are in use to help keep children as secure as possible. To enter the unit press the relevant button and a member of staff will confirm your identity before letting you in. Please ensure that you do not let other visitors in or follow other visitors in yourself.

If you have any questions or concerns please talk to the nurse looking after your child.

About the units

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)


Our Intensive Care Unit has ten beds and provides one to one nursing care for patients with life-threatening conditions.

High Dependency Unit (HDU)


HDU has nine beds and cares for children who require a high degree of medical and nursing input. Here we have one nurse/nursing assistant for every two patients.

Neonatal Surgical Unit (NSU)


NSU has 12 cots where we care for babies who require care or a surgical procedure after birth. We have close links with the Jessop Wing maternity unit and regional neonatal units.

Find out more about the Neonatal Surgical Unit.

Support for families

Having a child in Critical Care can be difficult for families and carers and we do as much as we can to provide you with emotional and practical support.

  • our housekeepers can assist with parking, food and accommodation
  • play specialists provide support on the unit for your child and any siblings
  • the PALS Co-ordinator Julie Mather can help if you have any concerns about the care of your child
  • psychologists and the multi-faith Chaplaincy are able to provide emotional support

The hospital’s chapel and Muslim prayer room is situated on D Floor accessed via the blue lifts and is open all day every day. If you would like support from a religious minister please speak with the nurse looking after your child.

In partnership with The Sick Children’s Trust, we provide on-site residential accommodation for families in Magnolia House. Magnolia House is adjacent to the hospital and has direct access to the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.

The team

PCCU has around 150 staff including dedicated consultants and nurses who specialise in intensive care. The team is supported by pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, technicians, play specialists, dietitians and housekeepers.

Long term ventilation

We provide a continuing care service for patients who have complex needs and may be dependent on ventilators to help them breathe.

Emergency transport

We work closely with Embrace, a highly-specialised emergency transport service, who bring acutely ill infants and children to us from local district hospitals for ongoing critical care.

Bluebell Wood

We also have established pathways with Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

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