For Healthcare Professionals

Image of SimMan being used for training The Intensive Care Unit at Derriford hospital is one of the largest in the country and has a broad casemix reflecting the wide range of medical and surgical specialties provided by the hospital.

Clinical Workload

Derriford hospital provides secondary services for a local population of over 400,000 and a range of tertiary services for the Peninsula population of approximately 1.5 M including neurosurgery, plastic surgery, pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgery, renal transplantation and cardio-thoracic surgery. The unit admits in excess of 1700 patients per annum with over 90% of admissions being unplanned. Post cardiac surgery care is provided in the separate Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, although a number of patients requiring prolonged intensive care support following cardiac surgery are transferred to Penrose ward.

Clinical Research

The unit actively participates in clinical research There are three part time critical care research nurse posts that facilitate commercial and non commercial research. The unit was the second highest recruiting unit to the TRACMAN trial and is currently recruiting to the following portfolio trials:
• PROMISE (Early goal directed therapy in sepsis)
• EUROTHERM (therapeutic hypothermia in traumatic brain injury)
• RESCUE-ICP (decompressive craniectomy in brain injury)

Previous trials conducted on the unit include:
• OSCAR trial (High frequency Oscillation in ARDS)
• PROWESS-SHOCK (Activated protein-C for septic shock)

There is an active audit programme and the unit was a first wave member of the ICNARC case mix programme. The unit previously contributed to the cost block programme.

Training in Intensive Care

The unit is recognised by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine for training at all levels of intensive care medicine. Training for Intensive Care residents and trainees include:
• Journal club every Tuesday morning
• Protected trainee teaching on Thursday afternoon with a focus on core knowledge for postgraduate examinations
• Clinical meetings every Friday lunchtime
• Access to a dedicated simulation suite on the unit

We aim to ensure that all ICU novices undertake a Basic Intensive Care Medicine Course, run in-house. The unit is actively involved in a number of other courses including Focused Echocardiography in Life Support (FEEL), ALERT, ILS and a care of the Critically Ill Patient in the General Ward course.

Medical Students

Phase 2 and 3 (year 3,4,5) medical students of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry undertake clinical attachments within the Critical Care Unit. Students participate in ward rounds and receive dedicated teaching sessions from the consultant staff.

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