Intensive Care Unit ICU

The Intensive Care Unit or ICU is a specially staffed and equipped unit that provides care for patients with life threatening or potentially life threatening conditions. Our aim is to return patients to a quality of life that is acceptable to them, to minimise suffering and to reduce disability. If the injury or disease process is overwhelming and these aims are not achievable, our aim is to allow for a compassionate dying process.

ICU is run and staffed by specialist doctors and nurses who have undergone extensive training in intensive care. Other members of our multidisciplinary team include pharmacists, dietitians, physiotherapists, orthotists, radiographers, speech therapists and social workers.  There are a total of 11 physical bedspaces in the unit split between the ICU and the High Dependency Unit (HDU). Depending on how sick a patient is, they might have their own nurse, or one nurse between two patients.

The ICU can be an extremely stressful environment for patients and their families/whānau. We understand the importance of visiting an unwell relative, and encourage family/whānau to do so.

However, the unit may be closed to all or patient specific visitors at short notice. This is so the team can concentrate on patient care, to allow the administration of complex therapies, to maintain patient safety and to allow patients to have adequate rest. We also limit visitors to two per patient for this reason. We realise that this may cause inconvenience, are sorry for this and hope you understand our reasons. The patients in ICU are critically unwell – please do not visit if you are currently unwell yourself.


The intensive care service also provides, with the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service and Skyline Aviation, a transport service for the critically ill patients of Hawke's Bay.

We value your feedback

We hope to help and support both the patient and their family/whānau through this difficult and often stressful time. If there is any way in which we can provide further assistance, please let us know.