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PCC is a specialty within children’s medicine that provides medical and nursing care for critically ill or injured children. Within RMCH there are two wards that provide PCC – our Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) and our Paediatric High Dependency (PHDU). The sickest children, who usually need to be on a ventilator are admitted to PICU. Children who need slightly less support will usually be admitted to the PHDU. Our medical and nursing staff cover both areas and are able to step up or down the care with the needs of the child.

Critical illness can be caused by a number of conditions. Some children may be born with problems (called a congenital abnormality), some will become acutely unwell for example with an overwhelming infection, others will have an accident and others may have a deterioration of an existing medical condition (such as asthma, epilepsy or cancer). We also provide support for children after major surgery (spinal, neurosurgery, major chest/abdominal surgery/airway and after kidney transplants)

As a minimum children with critical illness will require close monitoring. In addition many will require life support machines, complex drug therapies and multi-organ support (heart, breathing to lungs, kidneys).

Daily Routines and Information

There are three consultants on duty each day – one based on PICU and one based on PHDU. Usually they work a “hot week” model to provide consistency in care for the patients and families. They are responsible for the clinical care of your child and will review them twice a day. In addition there is a supporting consultant who covers admissions and provides additional input to the two units and to any children in the hospital/Emergency Department that require Paediatric critical care.

Out of hours and at weekends, there is a consultant on call for PICU. Patients on PHDU will be under the care of their primary team e.g. surgery, respiratory.

There are a team of over 20 junior doctors and Advanced Clinical Practitioners with training in PCC who will support your child under the supervision of the PICU or PHDU consultant. They are available 24 hours a day.

PCC has over 150 nurses who all have specific training in paediatric critical care. When on PICU your child will usually have their own nurse at their bedside. On PHDU the nurse will be caring for two children on the ward. This level of care will be reviewed regularly as your child’s level of care increases or decreases.

There is a nurse in charge of each ward (PICU and PHDU) on every shift. In addition there is a Paediatric Critical Care co-ordinator who will be overseeing all activity across the department.

PCC is supported by an extensive range of Allied Health Professionals including: Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietician, pharmacists, clinical psychology, family support, ward clerks and housekeepers.

The main daily ward round occurs between 9.30am and 10:30am on PICU and 10.00am-12:30pm on PHDU. Visiting will be limited during this time to maintain patient confidentiality.

For security reasons, the doors to PCC are kept locked. Please ring the bell for the appropriate ward and when asked, state who you are and the name of the child you have come to visit.