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Critical Care team

 Welcome to the Critical Care team

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The East Kent Critical Care team provide care for critically ill patients on three intensive care units across our Trust. Our units are staffed by a dedicated and supportive team who pride themselves on their drive for constant improvements and the support and opportunities we offer to our staff.

Our services across all three units – at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital - have been rated as good by the Care Quality Commission on repeated inspections.

Our vision is to provide high quality, safe, evidence-based care through a genuinely compassionate and collaborative approach, and we support our staff to deliver just that. There is always scope for career development and five of the nine consultants at Ashford were at the hospital as trainees, demonstrating the quality of the training we provide.

We use the latest technology, both in patient care and in our patient management systems, with electronic bed management and real-time recording of up-to-date information for every patient.

Clinicians have access to the latest equipment including Intellivent Adaptive Support Ventilation as well as state-of-the-art echocardiography facilities. Critical Care Ultrasonography and Echocardiography are key areas of interest and many of the consultant team across the Trust are Focused Intensive Care Echo (FICE) and Core UltraSound in Intensive Care (CUSIC) mentors.  Two of our consultant intensivists are also FICE supervisors and hold full British Society of Endocardiography accreditation. The team have set up and run an in-house FICE course which has received excellent feedback. There are also numerous opportunities for educational and clinical supervision for trainees in intensive care medicine, anaesthesia, ACCS and core medicine.

The East Kent Critical Care team also take part in a range of research to influence future developments in their field, with both national and international portfolio studies as well as in-house research projects.

We work closely with other specialities including anaesthetics, surgery and medicine, with opportunities to combine specialisms, and cross-specialty morbidity and Mortality meetings are well embedded. The teamwork and camaraderie on our units are second to none.

If you are passionate about critical care and want to work in a progressive and dynamic team, then we want to hear from you!

Interested? Search our vacancies and apply today.


Mark Snazelle

Staff Profile:

Mark Snazelle

Consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine (University of Birmingham Medical School)

Lead Clinician for Critical Care

I worked in all three of the Trust’s main hospitals as a junior doctor, after training in Birmingham and London, so joining the Critical Care team was a bit like coming home.

I was drawn to the units after seeing the impact critical care had on patients when I was working as a House Officer in Birmingham. They would be whisked off to ITU and either came back or didn’t, and as a junior doctor I didn’t have any input. I enjoyed treating sick patients but I knew I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to do anything but ask for help, and I decided I wanted to be in the position to give that help.

Now I get to save lives every day, and there is nothing more rewarding than that.

The Critical Care team at EKHUFT is second to none. Although we work across three different and distinct sites, we are one team and the camaraderie and support is fantastic.

As a Trust we always want to move forward and improve, and that applies to career development too. There are opportunities to take part in research and with an expanding service and a new medical school due to open in 2020, there are exciting times ahead.

Click here to search vacancies and apply today.


Staff Profile:

Deirdre McFarlane

Critical Care and Critical Care Outreach Matron

The best thing about critical care is that you learn something new every day – even me, after 22 years.

I first came to the unit in 1998 and now I’m matron, with 60 staff in my team. It’s challenging but very rewarding.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our training, and the support we offer our team, and the fact we deliver a very high standard of patient care. We’re not robots, and although our survival rates are really good, and our infection rates are phenomenally low, sometimes we do lose a patient. It’s accepted that this can be difficult but we have a strong network of support.

But there is also a real buzz to it. When you can deliver fantastic care as part of a great team, there’s no better feeling. We get great feedback, and we look after the families as much as the patients as a holistic approach.

It’s a very different environment to the ward and it isn’t for everyone. The responsibility can be a challenge, and we’re looking after the sickest of the sick. But student nurses often come back because they recognise the experience we offer.


Erika Leite

Staff Profile:

Erika Leite

Overseas nurse

I was a nurse in Portugal but I wanted to come to the UK to develop my career. You can achieve more in England, and I am always learning in this role.

The support is overwhelming, I always have someone by my side and everyone is eager to help. For the first four weeks, you are supernumerary, which means you are not included in the rota so you can learn and observe. After that you have a buddy and there is always someone to ask if you are not sure of anything.

I started working on a gastro ward but I wanted to work in critical care because I find caring for very complex patients incredibly interesting and rewarding.

I have faced some challenges, including getting to grips with some of the clinical language, but my colleagues are supportive and keen to teach me and I know it won’t be a problem for long.

I have learnt so much already, and I know that I have so much more to achieve. I’m glad I joined the East Kent Critical Care and I can’t wait to watch my career develop here.