Visiting hours

Daily from 2.00pm to 7.00pm

Flexible visiting is available following discussion with the nurse in charge


Patient quote

"To the Intensive Care Unit - all doctors and nurses involved in taking care of me when I had quadrupal heart bypass  - the care was excellent". Mr & Mrs DC

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Cardiothoracic Services (Heart and Lung)

Ward 21 Freeman Hospital

Ward 21 is an Adult Cardiothoracic Critical Care Unit which specialises in the care of patients following complex heart and lung surgeries, including: coronary bypass grafts, valve replacements and heart and lung transplantation.

Patients may be transferred here from all over the UK and Northern Ireland because of our considerable experience in complex cardiothoracic procedures.

Patient accommodation

Ward 21 accommodates both male and female patients in a combination of open-plan areas and cubicles. This is to allow for the close observation and safe care of patients, or sometimes, in the case of the cubicles, to control infection. However, to ensure privacy and dignity, all bed areas are fitted with curtains.

All patients are connected to a monitor showing their heart rhythm, pulse, and blood pressure. They may receive oxygen from a facemask or a ventilator (breathing machine). Other specialised equipment may be required to support the heart, lungs or kidneys – the nurse at the bedside will explain all the equipment to you.

A Critical Care Unit is a very busy area which feels quite warm. You will often hear the sounds of equipment alarms. This does not mean that anything is wrong – the alarms are usually reminding the nurse to do something, such as change a drip.

Enquiries are welcome at any time of day or night. In the case of large families, we politely request that one family member rings to enquire about the welfare of the patient, and then pass on this information to the rest of the family.

How to find us

Directions to the wardShow [+] Hide [-]

We are based in the Cardiothoracic Centre which is set to the right of the Freeman hospital as you look at the front. To find us:

  • Come into the Cardiothoracic Centre and take a right turn, round by the reception desk.
  • Follow the corridor past the Lung Function Department until you see the lifts or stairs on your left.
  • Take the lift or stairs up to level 3. Turn right from the lift, or left at the top of the stairs, and then turn left.
  • Follow the corridor round until you reach the Theatre entrance. Turn right and continue down the corridor until you reach Cardiothoracic Critical Care Unit (Ward 21) on the left.

How to get to the hospital

Staff you are likely to meet

All members of the team can be identified by their badges and will introduce themselves when they meet you.

On each shift, a nurse will care for one or two patients.

A Doctor is readily available most of the time. If they are not available when you visit due to their clinical responsibilities, then an appointment will be made for you to meet with them to discuss any concerns you may have.

The physiotherapist will visit regularly to help patients to clear their chests to prevent possible infection and help with exercise.

Things you need to know

  • Our visiting times are 2.00pm to 7.00pm every day but flexible visiting is available following discussion with the nurse in charge.
  • Only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at any time. If your relative has had a transplant, then visiting is initially restricted to the same two family members only.
  • On arrival, ring the doorbell and wait until a member of staff can attend to you.
  • When entering the unit, remove your coat (if any) and leave this on the hooks provided. Please remember to take any valuables with you.
  • Please wash and dry your hands at the sink to help reduce the spread of infection within the unit.
  • A translator service is available for people who cannot speak English.
  • Car parking (payable) is available onsite.
  • Regrettably, fresh flowers are not allowed into the unit for reasons related to infection control.
  • If you have a cold, any infection or diarrhoea, please do not visit the Unit. Contact the nurse in charge who will be happy to advise you.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off before entering the Unit as there is a risk that their signals can interfere with electronic equipment and endanger the patient as a result.

More information

For more details about Ward 21, please contact:

  • Matron Amanda Vickers
  • Tel: 0191 213 7021
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