Princess Alexandra ward

The ward has 35 beds where cardiac and thoracic (lung) surgery patients can be cared for. This includes patients having cardiac bypass surgery, heart valve surgery, investigations and surgery for a variety of lung conditions.

After surgery

If you have had thoracic surgery, we will transfer you to the high dependency unit after your operation. If you have had cardiac surgery, you will first be looked after in the adult intensive care unit (AICU) or recovery unit, to allow us to monitor your progress closely.

Normally patients can expect to spend between 24 and 48 hours in the high dependency unit. The overall length of time you will need to stay in hospital following surgery depends on your operation, your recovery and your general health before surgery.

In general on the ward, one nurse will be caring for up to six patients. In the high dependency unit, one nurse will look after two patients.


  • Breakfast is usually served between 8am and 8:30am.

  • Lunch is generally served between 12 noon and 1pm.

  • Dinner is served between 6pm and 7pm.

In addition tea, coffee and snacks are served mid-morning and mid-afternoon. There is a complimentary hot drinks machine on the ward for patients and visitors. 

If you are unable to get to the drinks machine, please ask a nurse or member of the catering staff who will be happy to get a drink for you.

Visiting times

  • 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 8pm (no visiting between 1pm - 2pm)

Life on the wards

Each bay is single-sex, so you will only be in a room with people of the same sex as yourself. The high dependency unit is a mixed sex ward. 

However, a nurse is always present and every effort is made to ensure that privacy and dignity is maintained at all times.

The bathroom and toilet facilities are labelled as being for male or female use.

Who you will meet on the ward 

Each ward is managed by a ward sister or charge nurse, with the support of the nursing team, who care for the patients alongside the consultant surgeons and their medical teams.

Our nursing staff are experienced in the care of heart and lung surgery patients and many have undertaken specialist courses in this area. Please ask the nursing staff if you have any questions about your surgery or care and they will be pleased to help.

We have student nurses allocated to the wards, but they always work under the supervision of a qualified member of staff.  In addition, we also have qualified nurses who are undertaking the specialist cardio-thoracic training course at the hospital, who are also allocated to the ward areas.

We have a clinical practice educator team who assists with the education of the nursing staff. You may see them working alongside members of the nursing team who are caring for you.

Other people you may come into contact with are:

  • the matron

  • clinical services manager

  • cardiac homecare nurse specialists

  • cardiac liaison nurse specialist and pre-admission clinic nurses

  • clinical practice educators

  • advanced practitioners - experienced specialist nurses who work as part of the medical team

  • ward administrators

  • catering staff and supervisors

  • domestic staff and supervisors

  • supporting health professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, pharmacists)

  • lung cancer nurse specialists

  • pain management nurse specialists

  • complex discharge nurse

  • patient advice and liaison team (PALS).



Denis Breen

Level 5, Sydney Wing, Royal Brompton Hospital, SW3 6NP

Telephone: 020 7351 8516