High dependency unit (HDU)

What we do

The HDU has 10 beds for patients who require more detailed observation after their heart or lung surgery and a high level of monitoring. 

To meet the needs of these patients we have a ratio of two patients per nurse. The HDU assists patients after major surgery, should they become unwell on the wards or after they leave the intensive therapy unit

How we care for patients

Each patient within the unit will be attached to a monitor that will record various observations needed to assess their recovery. Patients may require increased amounts of oxygen and may also have infusions administering medication.

Having a relative in HDU can be distressing for family and everything that is happening to our patient will be fully explained. We can arrange for you to speak to a doctor if you wish.

Who looks after our patients

Each patient has a registered nurse allocated to their care who has critical care training and experience.

During the day there will be several visits to each patient by our 'multidisciplinary team' - a group of staff with specialist training in different fields, who work out the best treatment through consultation. 

In addition, all patients are also regularly assessed by a physiotherapist, pharmacist and dietitian.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are 3 pm till 5 pm, and 6 pm till 8 pm. This enables protected mealtimes for our patients.

On arrival at HDU, please press the call button and wait for assistance.

Visitors are limited to two per patient. There will be occasions when relatives may be asked to leave the bedside and wait outside the clinical area. These occasions would include ward rounds, handovers between staff, when some nursing or physiotherapy treatment is being carried out or if a neighbouring patient requires special attention during that time.

Unfortunately, flowers and plants are not allowed in the HDU. This is because standing water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and maintaining an infection-free environment is our priority.

The use of mobile phones on HDU is not permitted. 


Ground floor, Harefield Hospital, UB9 6JH

Telephone: 01895 828 572
Matron: Sue Mather