Adult intensive care unit (AICU)


Jo Tillman 


The adult intensive care unit (AICU) at Royal Brompton has 20 beds and takes patients following cardiac and major thoracic surgery.

We also take patients who have severe medical cardiac conditions and who may require optimisation prior to surgery, intra-aortic balloon pumping or management of ventricular assist devices (VAD).

Patients with extensive respiratory problems are also provided with specialist ventilator support. Patients who develop renal failure are managed effectively with haemofiltration, a renal replacement therapy.

The patient-nurse ratio is based on one-to-one care, or two-to-one once the patient is stable. 

In addition to the AICU, there is a separate 10-bed post-anaesthetic care unit that is fully functioning from Monday to Friday. 

This facility is managed by the AICU modern matron and enables seamless care between the AICU, theatres and the ward areas.

Training and development

All new staff, irrespective of grading band and experience, are provided with a well-established induction and mentor programme. Competencies and role developments are achieved by in-house training and assessment.   

Nurses are encouraged and developed, and progress at their own pace, while ensuring that they contribute to service developments.

A variety of shift patterns are worked, but flexible working arrangements are available to suit both staff and service needs. 

Good staff morale in such a busy and specialised area is extremely important. We believe it is the collective responsibility of all staff to ensure the maintenance of high morale to provide an environment conducive to high standards of care by professional, motivated staff.


Read about being a patient or visitor to the adult intensive care unit.

Meet the AICU team.