Meet the Critical Care Team
In the critical care unit, patient care is delivered by a highly specialised and varied group of clinical staff who each bring different skills and knowledge to enhance and provide the very best patient care. The department is led by senior consultants and nurses who are supported by staff in several other roles.
Critical care consultant anaesthetists are responsible for leading patient care during their stay in critical care. The duty consultant will lead the medical team and take responsibility for admissions, planning treatment and care. The consultant will oversee overall care and ensure that discussions with other specialities within the hospital and beyond are carried out to ensure the patient receives the care they require.
Critical care consultants
- Dr Rachel Krol
- Dr Paul Hayden
- Dr Graeme Sanders
- Dr Pavol Palcovic
- Dr Rahuldeb Sarkar
- Dr Vipal Chawla
- Dr Nandita Divekar
- Dr Rupa Kaur
Critical care doctors
Within critical care we have a number of doctors working at different grades and positions. Among them, we have a team of doctors who are on rotation/placements (known as junior doctors) to help enhance their knowledge and consolidate their skills within critical care. The junior medical team are always supported by senior doctors within the team to ensure there is a good skill mix for each shift, while always ensuring patient safety is priority.
Advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP)
Within our critical care department we have three fully qualified ACCPs and two other qualified healthcare professionals who are currently studying alongside clinical practice to become fully qualified ACCPs. ACCPs work across many clinical boundaries including medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacology to ensure that patients receive person-focused, timely and effective care.
Critical care nurses
The units are staffed by highly specialised, knowledgeable and experienced nurses. The nursing team is led by Matron Katherine McEvoy.
On each shift there is a sister in charge/charge nurse (either a band 6 or 7) who will allocate nurses to patients, usually on a 1:1 or 2:1 basis. The nurses will care for the patient/s they have been allocated to during their shift, during which they will carefully monitor them, carry out vital signs, and work with the medical and therapy team to ensure the patient’s/patients’ daily care plan is carried out. The nurse will also liaise with family members and doctors to answer any queries and questions that the patient and their loved ones may have.
Working alongside our nurses are clinical support workers (CSWs). They are responsible for assisting the nurses with patient care, assisting relatives with any queries and ensuring equipment on the unit is stocked.
To help you recognise the different nurses and support workers on the unit, below is a brief description of their uniforms:
- Clinical support workers – Grey dress/Tunic
- Band 5 junior nurses – Light blue dress/Tunic with white piping
- Band 5 senior nurses – Light blue dress/Tunic with white piping
- Band 6 sister/charge nurses – Light blue dress/Tunic with navy piping
- Band 7 senior sisters – Navy dress/Tunic with white piping
- Specialist nurses Band 6 and 7 – Navy dress/Tunic with red piping
- Matron – Red dress
Critical care multi-disciplinary team
Primary Care Team
Each patient will have a Primary Care Team caring for them outside of critical care. This may be a surgical or medical team depending on the patient’s diagnosis. Although the Critical Care Team take over a patient’s care at the point of admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/General High Dependency Unit (GHDU), the team works collaboratively with the Primary Care Team who review the patients on a regular basis. This ensures they are up to date with the current situation and any plans to step patients down from critical care can be discussed.
The physiotherapist’s role within critical care can be separated into two important areas: respiratory and rehabilitation. Our Physiotherapy Team will aim to see patients on a daily basis, whether it be to help with their sputum load, which may or may not be affecting their oxygenation, or by promoting mobilisation while helping to maintain and improve muscle strength and improve joint movement.
Within critical care we have a specialist dietitian who is responsible for reviewing each patient’s nutritional needs on a regular basis. Nutrition is vital in aiding recovery during critical illness therefore our dietitian will review patients on an individual basis.
Within the department we have several nurse specialists who all have a background in critical care.
Rehabilitation and follow-up nurse
Within critical care we have a rehabilitation and follow up nurse specialist who, along with a team of physiotherapists and a consultant, will plan and review each patient’s rehabilitation from critical care. The rehabilitation and follow up nurse may also offer patients a follow up appointment in clinic, post discharge, to identify and discuss any ongoing needs or concerns that patients have following their stay in critical care.
Audit and quality improvement nurses
The aim of the Audit Team within critical care is to ensure high standards of clinical care are upheld. They look at how the unit communicates and disseminates information between members of the Multi-disciplinary Team, patients, their families and the wider public, to give an open and accurate account of care, planning and delivery throughout critical care. By carrying out audits we are able to look at trends and critically appraise current practice and identify areas for improvement. The Audit Team liaise with the critical care clinicians to determine clear objectives for the audit programme, supervise the collection of data and check the accuracy and consistency of the data that is collected. The Audit Team regularly evaluate, re-evaluate and monitor clinical practice by using credible systems to ensure best possible patient care. Quality Improvement is also a main focus within the audit and Multi-disciplinary Teams to raise standards and promote continuous improvement.
Practice development nurse
Within critical care we have a practice development nurse (PDN). Their role is:
- To provide extensive clinical advice and support to enhance the knowledge base and practical skills of new nursing staff, internationally educated nurses, healthcare assistants and other learners within the department
- To communicate with and assist the Multi-disciplinary Team to promote excellence in the delivery of care
- To either provide or facilitate learning opportunities for the team to maintain clinical competence; nurture and develop skills and knowledge within critical care
- To coach and guide staff in all aspects of professional development.