Reading Intensive care unit (Royal Berkshire Hospital)

This ICU has 17 beds with over 1000 admissions per year. The 10 consultants work a weekly rota incorporating a second consultant Monday to Friday for extra supervision and teaching. The 14 trainees work a full time rota, with 2 on at night and there is provision of extra clinical experience in other departments such as echocardiography, microbiology and bronchoscopy. The weekly consultant led teaching and radiology sessions are particularly well evaluated. The unit has a progressive approach to educational supervision.

Approximately 60% of patient are medical, with respiratory, cardiac, neurological and gastroenterology cases the main type. The rest of the patients are mainly surgical with a large emergency workload. In addition patients are treated after major urological, gastrointestinal and orthopaedic procedures. Patients who have been in cardiac and neuro centres are weaned in Reading. Annually there are about 120 paediatric intubations and stabilisations prior to retrieval to Southampton or Oxford PICU’s (via SORT Network).

Trainees can expect exposure to a variety of advanced monitoring and therapeutic procedures. Examples include percutaneous tracheostomy (100 per year), ultrasound, ODM, echocardiography, bronchoscopy, PICCO and intracranial pressure monitoring (inserted by the ICU staff).  Audit and research are encouraged and supported by a powerful clinical information system, research nurses and a data manager. The research team are the leading recruiters to many national trials.

Reading also has expertise beyond the traditional boundaries of Intensive Care. The follow-up clinic is the second oldest in the UK and there is a 24/7 outreach service who reviewed in the region of 1000 patients per month. A centrally funded bereavement expert co-ordinates relative follow-up, organ donation and staff pastoral care.

For an idea of daily activities on the unit please review our FICM unit brief here.

For the junior doctors toolkit download here.

Reading’s latest Sim Newletter Dec 2018 is here