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Intensive Care Unit

The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Alder HeyOur Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a 23 bed unit and a designated Lead Centre. We care for children (up to 16 years old) from all specialties including cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, burns, trauma infections, shock and oncology. The unit accepts over 1000 admissions per year and is one of the largest PICUs in Europe.

Our unit is modern and provides all forms of therapy including haemofiltration, Nitric Oxide, High Frequency Oscillation and cardiac ECMO providing care for level 4 intensive care children. The unit is bright and child friendly and predominantly open plan with 8 cubicles for isolation. Since November 2010 the North West & North Wales Paediatric Transport Service (NWTS) undertakes the stabilisation & transfer of almost all critically ill and injured children to our PICU from district general hospitals. Many of our nurses and doctors on PICU are part of NWTS.

Parents and Carers

If you are a parent of a child on PICU and would like to know more information about the ward please read our Parent and Carers Information booklet (available soon) .

The Team on PICU

There are over 160 nurses on the PICU including a nurse manager, a nurse consultant, three advanced nurse practitioners, a senior nursing research fellow, a clinical educator, an audit nurse and a lecturer-practitioner who runs the specialist PICU course.
Other members of the team include 10 consultant intensivists, 2 specialist physiotherapists, a specialist dietician, a PICU pharmacist, a play therapist, social workers, chaplains, clerical and domestic staff and a team of rotational training doctors in PICU and anaesthesia.
We also provide placements for nursing students, medical students and other health care students.

Nursing on PICU

The nurse to patient ratio on PICU is mainly 1:1, but can be 2:1 in very ill children.
Our nursing philosophy in PICU is one strongly centred on providing family-centred care at all times, and delivering the highest possible level of care to our patients and their families. We believe that an environment which is supportive and encourages education and research is essential in order to support professional and personal growth and provide these children with best care underpinned by evidence. We recognise that the speed of a child’s recovery is dependant on the presence of his/her family and so we welcome family and friends to visit and participate in the child’s care. We also strive to keep parents continually informed about their child’s condition, so building a supportive relationship of trust, honesty and respect, while maintaining confidentiality and dignity.

We also value each other and encourage nurses to speak freely, acting as the child’s advocate when his or her parents are not able to do so, so promoting and safeguarding the well being of our patients.

Dr Stephen Kerr (Clinical Director) [Stephen.Kerr@alderhey.nhs.uk]

– Dr Dorothea Sidaras [sidaras@doctors.org.uk] on 0151 252 5555.

Your comments and experiences

  • I would like to thank everyone who cared for my son Jamie. It was a very difficult time for all of us but with all your support you helped make it special and help my son to recover. It meant the world to us to know that Jamie had such an amazing,caring team behind him. Never forget it x thanks so so much x

  • My son Jude was cared for my PICU team for 5 out of 8 days of his little short life! (March-April 2013)
    The care from consultants, doctors, nurses, health care and even the Easter bunny when he came to visit was outstanding!
    Soooo lucky to have this amazing hospital on our door stop!
    Our son was and is our precious angel, however he was also made to feel like the hospitals precious angel too!! Lots of love Nicola xxx

  • I’m sat here cuddling my 5 year old little boy reading his school books , If it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses who worked from the 28th December 2010 for a good few weeks afterwards I wouldn’t have been able to have this moment .I thank you all from the bottom of my heart , my little boy says mummy my favourite superhero is batman then asked who is yours I always give him the same reply the doctors and nurses that helped you when you were a baby , he smiles and says ok xxx

  • I spent a long time here when I got DignosedDignosed with lupus age 11 the nurses an doctors here are amazing at what they do xxxx

  • I have so many experiences in the PICU with our beautiful angel Melis, the nurses are all fabulous, so loving yet medical with our little girl, and she loved them back, always a big beautiful smile, and always proving everyone wrong, she liked to spend Christmas there, especially as she was spoiled rotten. Melis Angel Girl Kaya Age 6 Years and 28 days, All the doctors and nurses were very friendly with us but always told us the truth, they are good friends, we will visit again but its hard at the moment, we miss her very much xxx the Kaya Family xxx

  • I Was 11 When I Suffered Really Bad Pains in My Cheste Kept Goin Doctors Went To Chester Hospital Cause I Couldn’t Breath An Next Day Got Rushed Into Alder Hey For 3 months had loads of test done died twice had kidney failure an they dignosed me with Systemic lupuis Erthythmatous am now 26

  • My four month old son Evan spent just over 24 hours in ICU following a VSD repair last week. I can’t praise the staff enough. They were so caring and kept us informed of what was happening every step of the way. They made an awful and stressful experience much easier to cope with. Thank you to all of the staff that looked after him. You are all worth your weight in gold.

  • My son Evan collapsed at 5 days old in AE in Wigan and was transferred for surgery for a suspected twisted bowel at RMCH before his heart defect (IAA, VSD and ASD) were diagnosed and he was transferred to alder hey. Through this very stressful time all the team on ITU were very supportive and explained everything that was happening to us. They looked after my son when he was at his most vulnerable and also reassured us when we had to go home and spend time with our 2 daughters. There were many who looked after him (sorry I can’t remember all your names but I will always remember your faces) but one in particular I will always remember, his name was Sean, who looked after Evan when he came off the ventilator on 31/10/14 and let me have my first hold and feed of my baby after so long, he also gave him his first haircut (although when trying to find a vein). I can’t thank you all enough for saving my babies life, and your long and dedicated hours of nursing are much appreciated by me and my family. I now have a healthy nearly 1 year old who I cuddle every night and think how lucky we all are. Thank you again.

  • my son Jude had switch op (tga with asd and vsd) March this year only 12 days old the op was successful and care outstanding on icu

    Special thanks to Prem
    The surgeon, the theatre staff and all the nurses forever greatful You can see the care of these children is important to you all and not just a job these people genuinely care and want the best for you.

    THANK YOU XXXXX

  • Ps blessed. Thank u sooooo much ronald mcdonald. Life line to us xx

  • Omg. Thanku to all our angel nurses in icu red . . Pink heads n all!! My georgie george hookr rm 13 at 10 yrs old had meningicocle sepis. . dr kent. Aussie guy. . stating george george king of the jungle not out of the woods yet but in the long grass outside. . . My george is 18 today. God bless u all from the bottom of our hearts. . Thank u. Never forgotten forever grsteful for yr knowledge and hard work we are blessed Xxxc tracey n georgie n family x when up north we will defo pop inxx

  • Our baby girl Rylee came to alderhey 2 days old with a very rare heart condition , sadly Rylee died 3 weeks later but she and us as a family were cared for brilliantly , special mention to john , Kerry and saroja on icu brilliant dedicated nurses , the doctors , cardiologists and consultants also brilliant and we appreciate so much how hard they fought to save our beautiful girl x

  • Our beautiful 5 week old baby girl is on your intensive care unit on life support.. The staff and service you provide is the best we could not ask for anymore that you are doing for our baby girl we are soo great full for the mc house our baby girl is called Skylar O’shea thanks so much mum and dad

  • This is the 2nd comment I’ve written on here. As the first I wrote quickly whilst I had gone home for the day to see my other children.
    My daughter is named Mia. She was born premature at 26 weeks. And this resulted in numerous health issues. She spent months on the intensive care neonatel at our local hospital located close to our home. Then we were told she would need the care of alder hey for heart and lung operations.

    I was very worried about this. Being so far from home and as I’ve young children at home and a partner whom had just had hip surgery. It was difficult even whilst she was at Bolton with seeing her and caring for the family etc.
    so I honestly was dreading her moving.

    But it’s been unbelievable. The staff are amazing. So king. Airing and considerate.
    They all deserve a pride of Britain for what they do each and every day and night.
    I know most of the time when your child is in intensive care it goes by in a flash of worry and fear. And taking time to notice the work that goes on is not always possible.

    So I wanted to write it down and then share my experiences with others. Who may well be worried about moving here or spending time here.
    Yes there is the Ronald McDonald house. That’s all well and good. A place to sleep. But most of the time your on the ward.

    Every person from the Physios to the people that empty the bin were friendly and helpful.
    They helped me put in so many ways. Told me to go and sleep eat and try to relax. They understood parents needs and life’s. And wanted to help however they could. Many times a cuddle and a ear was all that you need but as I said they even went and arranged appointments for me and they most defiantley care about the children there. They call them by there name. Nurses read to Mia. Especially one named Louise. She was amazing. So lovely and calming. When I freaked over alarms she stayed calm and listened when ever in needed.
    An amazing nurse if there ever was one.

    Then Sam her name was. Lovely lady. Wore dark dark blue. Always went out her way to come and check on us. Talk to you. Chck if you need anything. And always with a smile. She has a lovely persona and she ensured when I was ill I went to the gp again. Thinking of parents needs.

    Then as mentioned in my other posts the Indian ladies. I remember there names now. As saroja and Lini.
    Also john. Amazing amazing bloke. Let me hold her and made my day. As I do my ever held her twice at her other hospital. Always makes you laugh and brightens the room!

    Thankyou to all of you. Even those I never met. Mia is now back at Bolton. And although I’m home and she is closer. Part would like to be there. As everything is above and beyond you never feel alone and worried. And Mia was well cared for and safe.
    I just hope thanks to your hard work and dedication she gets out of Bolton soon and gets to come home.

    Thankyou for everything. Lastly to the male nurse. I can’t remember his name for the life of me. Brilliant bloke. Again wears dark blue. Wish he could read this and he would know who he was. He helped me when I had a problem over at the house and always kept me updated on everything. He is great.

    They all deserve recognition for what they do. After 4 weeks there I could not do there job. All of them esp those mentioned are angels. Sent from heaven above. Now just need Mia out of this hospital. And maybe they could learn from you guys. All hospitals should. Thankyou all of you.

    (Sorry it’s so long. ,,)

  • My daughter mia has been on the picu for 2 weeks almost now. After being transferred from bolton hospital where she has been since her birth at only 26 weeks. She needs surgery on her heart and lungs so was sent here. She has become poorly whilst here through no fault on alder hey. And they’ve beren lovely. Very understanding and supportive. And work with you to help in any way they can. Unlike her prev hospital. Where I felt she was treated as a task not a person. Staff at aldewr hey have told me to go and rest and sleep. Made apts at doctors when I got a infection and went above and beyond to help. The ward is always clean and the physio staff are amazxing. I cannot fault them at all. Yes a few nurses are somewhat stuck in there ways. But most are great. One especially anna I think though I’m useless with names. And 2 lovely indian ladies. So polite. I will be rather saddnend when she returns to the other hospital. Great staff. Great ward. Amazing help. And understanding of parents needs and life outside the hospital. Something other hospitals should learn from.

  • Last July at 30 hours old our daughter Jessica was admitted here via NEWTS from RMCH with a very rare heart defect IAA. She was given the best care by the team, Laura, Becky, Sally, Laura B, Pete, Emma and the rest of the incredible team of nurses, cardiologists, surgeons and liaisons. Jess had her surgery in London and came back to recover here on HDU and thanks to all the loving care these people gave her, us and her sisters we r all together and jess is a very happy little girl. They all deserve medals and more!

  • 12 months ago today my son was brought to Alder Hey via NEWTs. He stayed on ICU for a while after life saving surgery where he was looked after mainly by a wonderful nurse called Alice. He was taken off his ventilator on his 2nd birthday. The staff had made him birthday banners and sang happy birthday to him. His care was fantastic. Thank you so much for looking after our little boy x

  • My daughter had open heart surgery due to having TOF

    her stay in ICU was as best as it could of been the staff in there are the tue heroes of the country

    the surgeons will forever be in my heart for what they did to save my daughter

    alder hey can be very proud of what they have in there staff

  • Alder Hey looked after my nephew with severe cerebral palsy for the best part of a year who we sadly lost on Monday a day before his 11th birthday. We can’t thank the doctors/nurses who looked after in that time and kept him with us. You all do an amazing job and dont get the credit or realization for it and we thank you so much for all you done and what you do for others on a daily basis and you should all be incredibly proud of yourselves and the work you do. Thank you so much xxx

  • My 9 year old daughter was rushed to Alder Hey from our local hospital. Over the course of her first week she was in multiple organ failure requiring multiple medications, ventilaion and renal filtration. If not for the hard work and dedication of the Alder Hey team my daughter would not have survived. Fortunately, after a couple of months in hospital, she is now fit, strong and healthy and has just celebrated her 10th birthday. Thank you so much.

  • My daughter Willow Helena Irvine was treated in Alder Hey picu for congenital heart disease. She stayed for a matter of weeks, within those weeks she was attached to numerous machines, tubes and wires to keep her alive. She had a stent fitted in order to breathe and suffered collapsed lungs. She and the picu staff battled and battled and won in one sense, she came home! But only for palliative care, but we got her home and it lasted a few short weeks but it was more than we bargained for. She passed away aged 11 weeks, we were so grateful for the time we had with her because we were lucky she survived in the womb. The staff at AH PICU were fantastic, we couldn’t of wished for a better hospital to treat our beautiful baby girl and for that we Thank You 🙂

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