Normally available only in NHS hospitals, Critical Care at St Anthony's offers patients and consultants alike the potential for complex surgery in a safe environment. Even for less complex surgery, there is the reassurance that if complications arise, they can be dealt with on the spot rather than involving a hurried transfer to an NHS hospital.
* Critical Care is classified into three levels defined by varying amounts of medical expertise and organ monitoring and support. (normal ward care is designated Level 0) Level 3, previously referred to as Intensive Care, is the highest level providing care for patients in need of advanced respiratory monitoring and support, monitoring and support of two or more organ systems, or patients with chronic impairment of one or more organ systems who require support for an acute reversible failure of another organ system.
Level 3 critical care is provided in an 8-bed intensive care unit where the most seriously ill patients are nursed on a 1:1 ratio. There is a resident Anaesthetist and the service is under the overall clinical direction of a team of Consultant Intensivists who provide 24 hour on-call cover for patients.
Myriame Lawley is the Sister in Charge of the Unit:
“For most patients, their stay in the unit is planned and they have things explained to them in advance; otherwise, coming round in such a high-tech environment can be daunting. Nevertheless, there are patients who suddenly deteriorate on the ward or in the operating theatre and have to be transferred. We also accommodate patients who are transferred from other hospitals without intensive care.”
Dr. Andy Rhodes is Lead Clinician for Intensive Care and one of a team of Consultant Intensivists who are available to take responsibility for the care of patients in the Unit. He stresses the value of the hospital employing Resident Anaesthetists:
“It is vital for the hospital to be able to respond immediately to the needs of its patients. Having a trained anaesthetist on site 24 hours a day allows the necessary care to be given with the minimum of delay".