Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Children's Services

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Paediatric Critical Care (PICU and PHDU)

The Paediatric Critical Care Unit looks after Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients and Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU) patients from Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

The Paediatric Critical Care Unit admits children from birth to age sixteen years with a wide range of conditions, who need a high level of observation (PHDU) or intensive care therapies (PICU).

Visiting information

Parents / carers may visit whenever they wish. Other family members and friends may visit, but only before 8.00pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please remember that no more than two visitors by the bed at a time are allowed. Also, we are unable to accept flowers in this unit.


Children's Critical Care - information for patients and their families and carers (pdf, 00 KB)

Children's Critical Care leaflet


We try to find accommodation for parents, although families sometimes have to share accommodation when demand is high, and occasionally there is a waiting list.

Parent accommodation

Hospital facilities

Shops, cafes and other facilities

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

In the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) we look after children with long-term respiratory, cardiology and neurology problems, as well as acute paediatric admissions. We offer the full range of intensive care therapies, allowing us to provide specialist care to our patients.

PICU is staffed by a multidisciplinary team which includes:

  • paediatricians
  • anaesthetists
  • intensive care nurses
  • physiotherapists
  • dietitians.

Admissions to PICU are always a very stressful time for parents and close relatives: we are keen to support the family as a whole. Colleagues in Social Services and Clinical Psychology provide us with valuable support.

Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU)

High dependency care is for children who are not unwell enough to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, but require close monitoring and treatments which cannot be provided safely in the general paediatric ward.

This can include children who have had high-risk surgery, or who need respiratory support. Children may be ventilated in PHDU. We also admit some children from other hospitals where high dependency monitoring is not available locally.

Southampton Oxford Retrieval Team (SORT)

Southampton Oxford Retrieval Team (SORT) is a joint service between Southampton and Oxford Paediatric Intensive Care Units, providing a safe environment to transport critically ill children. The service provides expert advice, decision-making support and patient transport to hospitals in the south of England.

Please see the SORT website for further information.

PICU consultants

Clinical Lead

  • Dr Eleri Adams
    Clinical Director Children's Critical Care and Neonatology
  • Dr Sara-Louise Hulme
  • Dr Janet McCluskey
  • Dr Deirdre O'Shea
  • Dr Avishay Sarfatti
  • Dr Alison Shefler
  • Dr Helen Turnham
  • Dr James Weitz
  • Dr Tim Whittington


  • Alex Elson
    Acting Specialist Matron
  • Sharon Buchanan
    Directorate Matron

Contact us

Paediatric Critical Care Services are based at the John Radcliffe Hospital (Level 1), main building.

Turn left out of the lift lobby area and walk towards the tree murals at the end of the corridor.