Ward 18 New Victoria Wing Intensive Care
Ward 18 is an adult Critical Care Unit providing specialist services for the population of the north of England in major trauma and neurosciences. We also provide general critical care services for the local population of Newcastle.
We are located on level 5 of the New Victoria Wing of the RVI (the wing nearest to Newcastle University next to Queen Victoria Road).
The visiting times for ward 18 are as follows:
Lunchtime visiting 11:30 - 14:00
Afternoon visiting 16:00 - 19:30
Evening visiting 20:00 - 21:00
Occasionally you may have to wait to see your relative. We will, however, endeavour to keep this time to a minimum. There is an intercom outside the unit. When reception is closed, please use it and wait for a member of staff to answer you. We may be busy and unable to answer straight away, but please wait a while and try again.
We request that only two visitors approach a relative's bedside at any time and visiting is restricted to close family only. During visiting, you may be asked to leave the department whilst important procedures and treatments are being performed.
If there are any extenuating individual circumstances regarding visiting times, please discuss these with the nurse in charge who will strive to accommodate your wishes.
Visitors rooms are available for your use. We try our best to get you into the unit to see your relative or friend as soon as possible. If you feel you have been waiting for a long time, please ring the doorbell and let a member of staff know. If you would like to see a doctor concerning your relative, please ask the bedside nurse.
We ask that mobile phones are switched off prior to entering the clinical area. Critical care units can be quite busy and alarms will frequently sound. This does not always mean that something is wrong and is often used as a reminder to staff that something has happened (eg. a drug infusion is complete).
All the patients are attached to a monitor that shows heart rhythm, pulse and blood pressure. They may receive oxygen from a mask, nasal prongs or a ventilator (breathing machine) if they require this. Dialysis (kidney machine) and other organ support techniques are frequently used.
The bedside nurse can explain the equipment in use when you visit.
All medical, nursing staff and visitors must wash or gel their hands before entering and on leaving the unit to prevent the spread of infection.
All visitors should remove their coats (or equivalent) and leave them on the hooks provided before entering the unit.
Please keep your valuables with you at all times.
Inside the Unit
Staff may be identified by their name badges and by introducing themselves. Please ask if you do not recognise a new face.
Each nurse looks after 1 or 2 patients per shift. We have junior doctors and critical care practitioners who are resident on the unit 24 hours a day.
At all times, we have at least one consultant covering ward 18. We also have a range of other allied healthcare professionals who provide an invaluable integrated service.
Enquiries are welcome at any time, day or night. In the case of large families, we request that one family member acts as a point of contact and passes on messages to the rest of the family.
ITU 0191 282 6018
HDU 0191 282 6162
Hospital Switchboard 0191 233 6161
What can I do to help?
If a patient is on a ventilator, they will not be able to have a conversation very easily. Use questions that allow simple 'yes' or 'no' answers. Talk about family news or, if you wish, simply hold their hand to show that you are there.
Please remember that patients need time to rest as part of their recovery process.
Patient diaries are available on request for those wishing to keep a record of their relative's time on the Critical Care Unit. This may help with recovery after critical illness.
You can bring in photographs and cards. Favourite music or DVDs can often help patients to relax when they are recovering.
We have a small supply of toiletries for patient use. It would be preferable, however, if you could bring in your own items from home. Soap or shower gel, deodorant and shaving items can all be brought in, and will make the hospital stay seem more personal.
Due to limited space, usually only two people can be at a bed space at a time. This is flexible as circumstances allow.
Regrettably, we cannot allow fresh flowers on to the unit.
We have a strict no smoking policy. Please adhere to this at all times.
Smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.
Visitors should access and pay for hospital parking as directed at the "Pay and Display" in the parking areas. Concessionary car parking permits at the rate of £21.00 per week are available to relatives of patients who have been an inpatient for seven days or who are expected to be in hospital for seven days or more. There is only one concession per patient.
Hospital chaplains visit regularly or on request to chat and provide support. The nursing staff can contact the appropriate denomination if you wish.
Translators are available for those who cannot speak English.
There are shops and restaurant facilities within the hospital. Please ask staff for directions.
Many of the patients on ward 18 have a brain injury. This can be enormously difficult for everyone involved to fully understand and deal with. We recommend contact with Headway - the brain injury association if you feel this might be of use.