Critical Care

About this service

The Critical Care Unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital is a specially staffed and equipped ward to closely monitor and treat patients with life-threatening conditions or who need specialist treatment because one or more of their body systems, such as their heart, lung or kidneys, are not working properly. The unit can accommodate up to 15 severely ill patients.

Admission to critical care may be pre­-planned for close monitoring following major surgery. It might also be unplanned, for example following a car accident, severe infection or deterioration in a patient’s condition.

Critical Care follow-up clinic

We run a follow-up clinic for patients who have been critically ill. The clinic provides our patients with the opportunity to discuss their stay and work through any problems they are experiencing in their recovery. Typically, any patient that has been on a ventilator for more than three days is invited to attend three months after discharge. Other patients who were not ventilated but received high dependency care and are still having problems with their recovery after four to six months can also be referred by their GP.

When recovery is not possible

In some patients, despite receiving clinical care treatment, it becomes clear that there is no realistic hope of their recovery. In these circumstances, prolonging life­-supporting treatment has no benefit to the patient and can also be distressing to both the patient and relatives. Please visit our Bereavement page for more information.

Health care videos

Click here to view our videos, which provide information to patients about specific issues, and general information about the Critical Care Unit.

Contact information

Where to find us

The Critical Care Unit is on the second floor of the Trelawny Wing at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Page last reviewed: 25 October 2023

Alert: Industrial action

Industrial action by junior doctors is expected to take place this week, from 7am on Saturday See our news article for more information.

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