High dependency unit (HDU)/Elizabeth ward

Information about the ward

Visiting times

10 am - 1 pm

2 pm - 8 pm

The HDU provides specialist care for adults with different medical and surgical conditions. Patients are admitted to the unit for emergency care as a result of serious illness, or as they recover after surgery or a medical procedure. On the ward, there are 14 HDU beds and four beds in the recovery unit. 

Our medical team

Our team of doctors is led by a consultant and includes specialist registrars and senior house officers.

A senior nurse is in charge of the HDU during each shift. Nurses will usually care for two patients each, but some patients may need to be cared for by one nurse only. Nurses will be allocated to the patients at the start of each shift.

During the shift, your nurse will look after you and work with other members of the multi-disciplinary team. Your nurse will give you information and will answer any questions that you may have.

The surgeon or cardiologist who admitted you to the hospital will work in partnership with the HDU medical team to manage your treatment and care.

What can I bring to the ward?

Pack items that you would take with you when you go away for a few days. This could include:

  • toiletries, including a toothbrush and toothpaste (please bring liquid soap only as this is more hygienic than bars of soap).

  • razors and shaving items.

  • sleepwear and a dressing gown.

  • slippers that fit comfortably and have a good grip.

We have some toiletry packs for patients admitted as an emergency.

What not to bring

It is important that you do not bring fresh flowers and plants to the ward. This is to help protect the specialist electrical equipment on the ward and to reduce the risk of infection.

You do not need to bring towels as we provide fresh towels every day.

We have a locked cupboard to keep some smaller items safe, but we ask that you do not bring valuables and large sums of money to the ward. 

Catering

Nutrition is a very important part of your recovery process. If you are able to eat and drink, please let your nurse know what you like and dislike. We will try to include your requests during mealtimes.

Your nurse will assist you if you need help with eating or drinking. 

Visiting the unit

Our visiting times 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm and you enter the unit by pressing the large silver button on the wall just outside the entrance doors.

Two visitors are allowed at each bed at a time, so we can avoid overcrowding of the bay areas and allow us to provide medical care to our patients.

Children can visit the HDU, but please discuss this with the nurse in charge before your visit. You should check if it is appropriate and consider the safety and wellbeing of both the patient and the child.

If it is not possible for you to come during visiting times, please discuss this with the nurse caring for your relative or friend or the nurse in charge. We will try to make other arrangements for you. Outside of visiting times, please press the intercom button and ask the ward staff to let you in.   

When you come to the unit, please:

  • clean your hands using the alcohol gel attached to the walls

  • go to the reception area along the corridor on your left where someone will meet you and take you to your relative or friend

  • do not enter the bay or side rooms until we advise you that it is safe to do so

  • switch your mobile phone to silent mode before entering the HDU, as they can disturb the patients when they ring. If you need to use your telephone whilst visiting, please leave the bay area to do so - we may ask you to switch your phone off if we feel it may affect any of the equipment

  • do not sit on beds - we have chairs available for visitors. Please ask for them at the HDU reception.

Refreshments

  • The restaurant is on level 1 (the basement) for a selection of hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks. Open daily from 8 am-10 am, 12 pm-2 pm and 6 pm-8 pm. 

  • The coffee shop is on level 2 (opposite the main reception on the ground floor) for hot and cold drinks, pastries and sandwiches. Jacket potatoes and toasted sandwiches are available over lunchtime. Open daily from 8am-4.30pm.

  • WH Smith is on level 2 (between the coffee shop and main reception on the ground floor) and sells newspapers and magazines, drinks, snacks, toiletries and greeting cards. Open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Weekends and bank holidays from 8 am to 4 pm.

Vending machines are available across the hospital for drinks and snacks.

Contacting the HDU

To help us spend as much time as needed caring for our patients, we ask that where possible, only one family member or friend contacts us to get updates about your condition. The information can then be shared with other family members and friends.

You need to give us permission before we can discuss:

  • general updates about your wellbeing with a member of your family or friend over the phone

  • detailed information about your wellbeing with a member of your family or friend when they visit the HDU. 

At certain times of the day, we may all be caring for patients and the phone may ring several times before it gets answered. Please know that we will answer the phone as soon as we can. We apologise in advance for any delay in answering your call.

HDU telephone number:  +44 (0)20 7351 8595

Leaving the HDU – moving on to further care

When you are ready for the next stage of your care and you no longer need the specialised skills, equipment and therapies offered on the unit, you will be discharged from the HDU.

Most patients are transferred to a ward or unit at Royal Brompton Hospital, but this will depend on the nature of your illness or condition. We will let your family member or friend know where you are moving to or someone at the HDU reception can direct them to you.

Comments and suggestions

If you, your family or friends have any comments or suggestions about the HDU or the service you have received, please contact the HDU sisters, Mary Madigan or Denise Breen on 020 7351 8595.

You can also complete the online comment card.

Matron: Mary Madigan Ward sister: Denise Breen 


Elizabeth (HDU) ward

High dependency unit/Elizabeth ward, Level 5 Sydney wing, Royal Brompton Hospital, SW3 6NP

Telephone

020 7351 8595