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William Harvey Hospital, Ashford

The William Harvey Hospital’s critical care unit is a 13 bedded unit catering to both intensive care patients and high dependency patients. We are a busy unit admitting approximately 980 patients a year. We care for a mixture of medical and surgical patients, we also admit patients who are having elective surgery but may need critical care input due to the complex nature of their surgery.

The William Harvey Hospital is also the local centre in Kent for Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (treatment for heart attack), and we liaise closely with our cardiac unit and also cardiac centres within the London region to ensure patients are given the best possible treatment.

We take teamwork very seriously on Critical Care and are very lucky to have a fantastic team of highly skilled doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and other valuable members. Our administration staff are also extremely valuable members of our team, as are our equipment engineers, pharmacists and audit collators. Out team work closely and collaborate to ensure each of our patients receive individualised evidence-based care.

Education is an important aspect of our intensive care, we facilitate the ongoing learning of our doctors and nurses, this is facilitated by our clinical nurse educators, who also offer a supportive environment for student nurses and midwives.

We understand that the critical care unit can be a daunting, scary and alien environment for patients, relatives and new staff. We offer support, guidance and care not only for our patients but for their relatives too, as we understand that family and friends are important to the patient’s recovery within our setting.

We encourage relatives to visit patient’s whilst on intensive care and have a dedicated relative room where you can wait to see your relative. We ask that you try and keep groups to a minimum as we have limited space, we also only allow two relatives at the bed side for safety reasons. We also ask that only 1 member of the family telephones for updates and then passes this information on to the rest of the family. We are limited in the information we can give over the telephone and each phone call can take us away from caring for the patient.

We also have access to the Rainbow Suite. This is a small self-contained flat, on site, where relatives of very unwell patients can stay so they are close by (we do charge a small fee per night toward upkeep).

We hope this will have answered some of your questions, if you need more information please do not hesitate to contact us or speak to one of the staff on the unit.

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