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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU)


Visiting times are fairly flexible as we realise people sometimes have to travel long distances.

Generally, visiting is:

  • 10.00am - 1.00pm
  • 3.00pm - 9.00pm

We have a quiet time 1.00pm - 3.00pm to ensure patients get enough rest.

About the Neuro ICU

One of the most striking developments in medical care over the last 20 years has been the ability to support patients with critical illness until they can recover.

  • Modern intensive and high dependency care allows increasingly complex surgery to be performed.
  • Medical treatment for brain injury and a variety of other serious illnesses is progressing forward rapidly.
  • Sophisticated radiological techniques, such as coil embolisation of cerebral aneurysms, are also supported by the work of the intensive care unit.

We mainly care for patients who need medical, surgical or radiological treatment for a variety of conditions relating to the brain, spine or nervous system. We also care for other specialist patients from areas such as plastic surgery, ENT and trauma.

Our Clinical Director and a team of consultant anaesthetists lead the medical team. Neurosurgeons, neurologists and specialist doctors visit the unit on a daily basis.

This is a regional unit covering:

  • Oxford
  • Swindon
  • Northampton
  • Aylesbury
  • Reading
  • Milton Keynes
  • Kettering
  • Coventry
  • High Wycombe.

Occasionally we have patients from overseas. The unit contains beds for patients who need intensive care and high dependency care. There is one nurse for each patient in intensive care and, usually, one nurse for each two high dependency patients.

Once a patient no longer requires intensive or high dependency care they will usually be transferred to the specialty ward in the West Wing. Patients will be under the direct care of the ward nursing staff and the same neurosurgical, neuromedical or specialist surgery doctors.

Patients transferred to the ward no longer require the same level of care and consequently the nurse to patient ratio is lower. Some patients may be transferred to the Neurosciences High Care Unit, a seven bed unit within the Neurosciences Ward|, providing higher levels of nursing care and monitoring than is normally available on the ward.



  • Dr Hilary Madder (Clinical Director)
  • Dr Jon Westbrook
  • Dr David Shlugman
  • Dr Mhairi Speirs
  • Dr Chris Kearns
    Special interest: domiciliary ventilation
  • Dr Orlando Warner

Lead Nurses

There are also nurses specialising in Research and Audit.

Find us and contact us

The Neuro ICU is based on Level 1 of the West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital.

  • Tel: 01865 234918