The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital is a 17 bedded regional unit. We care for babies and children from a few hours old up to 16 years of age.
We understand that this is a very stressful time for you, your family and the people close to you. The nurses, doctors and other professionals on the unit will help and support you in any way we can.
Children require admission to the unit usually because they are acutely ill. This may be following surgery, due to sudden serious illness or because of an accident. Whilst your child requires Intensive Care they will receive a minimum of one to one nursing at all times. There is always a senior nurse in charge of PICU.
Your child will have a named Intensive Care Consultant, who is known as an intensivist. They may also have a named Consultant from another paediatric speciality, along with the support of our junior doctors and advanced practitioners.
Details of our team are available on our photo boards, which are located in the corridor.
Family Advice and Support Team
The family advice and support team are here to offer support to you and your family during this very stressful and anxious time. They offer advice and support regarding financial worries, accommodation and other hospital facilities. Family advice and support team visit the unit Monday to Friday. They have an office on the ground floor if you wish to visit them. We also have a Philosophy of Care.
Making it easier
While your child is on PICU we want you to be able to continue to look after your child as much as possible and as much as you feel able. For example we will help you to change nappies, wash your child and help you be as much involved in care as possible. You may wish to bring your child’s favourite toy or blanket. There are breast feeding facilities available. Bottles and a breast pump are available for you to use. The milk can then be frozen until required. Labels will be provided to write on your baby’s name, date of birth and the date. Please ask your child’s nurse for further information. Breast feeding mums are entitled to free meals whilst they are resident with their baby. Please ask a member of staff for a voucher to use in the restaurant.
When visiting your child, please ring the bell at the entrance to the Critical Care Area and then to access the PICU and wait for a member of staff to attend to ensure that it is safe for you to enter. Many different procedures and interventions are carried out in PICU at all times of the day including X-rays and new children being admitted. Controlled access is for your safety, the safety of the children and to maintain privacy and dignity.
PICU has an open visiting policy for parents only. This means that parents can visit their child at any time. In order to aid rest for the children on the unit, we ask that only parents/guardians visit after 8.00 pm unless discussed in advance with the nurse in charge.
If siblings and other family members are visiting, only two people at any one time should be at the bed space. This is to ensure easy access to your child in an emergency. An adult must accompany all children under 16 years of age at all times. We recommend that babies are not brought onto PICU as they may be susceptible to infection. However, we recognise that a hospital admission is a stressful time for all the family and we aim to support all families in the most appropriate way. Please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s nurse or the nurse in charge if you have any special requirements or needs.
PICU has shared accommodation facilities with the Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU). Accommodation for up to two parents/guardians for the duration of your child’s stay in Critical Care may be arranged in the accommodation by the family care workers or the nursing staff. Other family members and friends are prohibited from entering the parent’s accommodation, this helps to provide a quiet area and privacy for all families. Unfortunately sleeping facilities cannot be provided at your child’s bedside, as this could hinder access to your child in an emergency.
Please try to make sure that you and your family take regular breaks and get some much needed rest away from the unit. This will help you support your child and each other. Be assured that you will be contacted during the day or night if needed or requested for by your child.
Washing facilities are available. You will need to bring with you your own toiletries. You will need to bring in your own tea and coffee as there is only a limited supply. Cooking facilities (microwave) is available in the accommodation. No eating at the bedside is permitted.
Identification and security
All our members of staff wear an identity badge at all times. If someone not wearing an identity badge approaches you or your child at any time, please check with the staff.
There is always a security team on duty within the hospital. They are here to protect all staff, patients and visitors to the hospital. If you see anything that looks out of the ordinary or any suspicious activity, please ask a member of staff to contact security.
The entrance to Critical Care Area (PICU, Paediatric High Dependency Unit and the Burns Service) is via locked doors off the main hospital corridor to the Critical Care corridor then via another set of locked doors to the PICU. Both sets of doors are locked 24 hours a day.
You must ring the bell at the entrance to access the PICU and wait for a member of staff to respond to ensure it is safe for you to enter. We do ask that you do not let other visitors in. The lock is there for security reasons to protect the children, their families and all staff.
Therapeutic and Specialised Play
Play and stimulation is a very important part of any child’s recovery process. The team on intensive care encourage play and will do our best to integrate play and stimulation where appropriate. A qualified Play Specialist works within the Critical Care area from Monday to Thursday.
For more information, click here.
Families and patients are allowed to use mobile phones. However, if making or taking calls (unless the patient is also talking) the family should use the phone away from the clinical area. This is to reduce unnecessary noise in what can be a noisy environment.
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
Tel: 0161 701 8000