Paediatric Intensive Care

When your child needs intensive care, for whatever reason, we understand it is a very anxious time for you and your family. The information on this website should introduce you to Paediatric Intensive Care and answer some of the questions you may have.

What is Paediatric Intensive Care?

Your child needs close monitoring, observation and additional care that can only be provided in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Children need intensive care for different reasons. Some will be planned admissions following an operation. Some admissions will be unexpected following an accident or an emergency.

Where is Paediatric Intensive Care provided in the KIDS area?

Paediatric Intensive Care is provided in two locations: Birmingham Children’s Hospital; and University Hospital of North Midlands (previously UHNS), Stoke on Trent.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital PICU:

The main Birmingham Children's Hospital (BCH) website

Parking at Birmingham Children’s Hospital:

There are  three car parks, next to the hospital, all of which operate a “pay on foot” system.
One is located at the front of the hospital building, on Steelhouse Lane, there is a second in the multi-storey car park on Whittall Street and the third is just opposite this, in Printing House Street. Because we are in the city centre and space is at a premium, the total number of car-parking spaces we have is just under 100, so demand is always very high. If you need to stay in the hospital for more than seven days, you can get a weekly pass for a car-parking space which costs £10 a week. If your child is coming here for haemodialysis, you need only pay £2 to park for the day.

Otherwise, there are the following charges:

  • Up to 1 hour - £2.00
  • Up to 2 hours - £4.00
  • Up to 4 hours - £5.00
  • Up to 6 hours - £6.00
  • Up to 8 hours - £8.00
  • Between 8 – 12 hours - £10.00
  • Lost tickets will be charged at the full day rate of £10.00

For more information on parking at BCH, please follow this link.

Disabled parking spaces:

• At the front of the Hospital building, on Steelhouse Lane
• The multi-storey car park on Whittall Street (on the ground floor)

Holders of blue badges are subject to the same car parking terms and conditions.
If you have any questions or would like more information regarding parking at the Hospital, please contact the Customer Services Department on 0121 333 8447. The department is open from 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am – 4.30pm on Fridays.

University Hospital of North Midlands (previously UHNStaffordshire) PICU, Stoke on Trent:

The main University Hospital of North Midlands (UHNM) website

Follow this link for travel information for UHNM.

Parking at the University Hospital of North Midlands:

Car parking at the hospital is limited. There are pay and display car parks for visitors. There is a daily car-parking charge. However, you can buy a cheaper weekly ticket from the parking booths.

What’s it like on a PICU in the West Midlands?

There are 8 beds on the University Hospital of North Staffordshire PICU and 30 beds at Birmingham Children’s Hospital PICU. It is usually busy. There will be unfamiliar noises, equipment and machines. The continuous activity may be a little frightening at first but the staff will always explain what is happening.
For security, there are automatic locking doors and a video intercom control entry at the main entrance to PICU. Please press the button and wait for a reply. Staff will ask who you are before they let you in.

Who will look after my child?

Each child and their family have their own allocated nurse. The allocated nurse changes with shift changes. Your child’s nurse acts as the link to other members of the care team including physiotherapists, dieticians, play specialists and hospital chaplains. An intensive care consultant is on duty at all times and will be fully involved in planning and directing the care of your child. There are doctors on the intensive care unit at all times. All staff wear name badges and identity cards at all times.

What will happen to my child?

There will be many pieces of equipment around the bed to closely monitor your child and to give the drugs and fluids they need. The staff will explain the equipment to you. Many pieces of equipment have built in alarm systems, which may be frightening at first but are important in helping to make sure your child is safe. The daily care is planned around each individual child’s needs. The doctors and nurses will keep you as fully informed as possible and updated with any changes to your child’s care and condition.

Visiting children on PICU:

There are no restrictions to parents visiting, although you may be asked to wait away from the bedside when certain procedures are being done. Brothers and sisters are very welcome. It is an anxious time for them and if you have any worries or concerns about them visiting please talk to your child’s nurse or the nurse in charge. An appropriate adult must supervise visiting children at all times. For any other visitors please discuss if it is appropriate with the nurse in charge.
To reduce the risk of infection to patients, visitors need to be kept to a minimum, with parents or carers and immediate family only.

Reducing the risk of infection on PICU:

Please remove outdoor coats before coming in to the unit. Please wash your hands and use the alcohol gel provided at every sink and bed space, before and after touching your child – this will help

What should I bring to PICU?

Most children have favourite toys, a ‘cuddly’ or a dummy – please bring them with you because familiar touch and smell is very important. Although we can provide emergency supplies we ask that as soon as possible you provide your own toiletries and nappies for your child. Please remember to pack a bag for yourself or ask someone to bring in some toiletries and clean clothes for you.
It can be helpful to have a pen and paper with you to write down any questions you have and a book either for yourself to read or to read to your child. Space on the PICU is limited and it is important to keep the environment clean and tidy, so please bring essential items only.

Accommodation for parents:

Birmingham Children’s Hospital PICU:

We welcome and encourage you to stay with your child, there is accommodation for parents within the hospital and also nearby at the Ronald McDonald House. There is a limited amount of accommodation and the demand for rooms is high, if one is not immediately available you will be put on a waiting list. Rooms are allocated according to a number of criteria (including your child’s condition and distance of travel amongst others). If you would like accommodation please ask your child’s nurse to contact the parent accommodation manager.

University Hospital of North Midlands PICU:

Accommodation is provided free of charge for emergency cases. There are 7 parent bedrooms with en-suite facilities. There is also a house within walking of the PICU which has family rooms, a bathroom, a shared lounge and kitchen facilities, where parents, brothers and sisters may stay together if they want to.