Paediatric intensive care unit (PICU)

With its 40 year history of clinical excellence, the newly refurbished PICU is the largest private paediatric unit of its kind in Europe, bringing together the expertise of world class consultants and dedicated specialist children’s nurses with instant access to the latest ground breaking technology for critical care. The unit specialises in cardiac (heart problems), cancer, and neurosciences (conditions of the brain and central nervous system) and spinal conditions. It has long-established links with other world renowned PICUs in London and around the world.


Nursing staff provide specialist care for children with some of the most complex conditions. They are supported by a dedicated team of educators who ensure their skills continuously developed and kept up-to-date.

The 13-bed unit which includes five isolation rooms, provides specialist one-to-one care for each child. In addition, a five-bed ‘step-down’ area which enables the transition from PICU back to the ward.

What happens in the PICU?
This area of the Children’s Hospital provides your child with the highest level of medical care, with intensive one-to-one nursing and the most up-to-date equipment for monitoring.

There are many reasons why your child might need to be in the PICU: recovery from a major operation; breathing problems caused by asthma; infection; heart conditions; an accident; or complications from a long term condition. The unit has specialist equipment to enable all types of organ support, including multi-organ failure; and the latest cardiac, ventilator, and renal replacement technologies. We also offer pre-visits for all planned admissions, helping to reassure you and your child.

We pride ourselves on providing excellent family centred care and support, and we will be able to update you about your child’s condition whenever you wish – day or night.

Referrals and requests for second opinions can also be discussed at all times of the day with the consultant intensivist (a specialist doctor in intensive care).

Because of the nature of care provided in the intensive care unit, visiting is restricted to parents/carers and to specific times. Please speak to the nurse in charge of the unit.