Your child's stay in intensive care

This page explains what you and your child can expect when coming to the children's intensive care unit.

How do I get an appointment?

Children usually come to the children’s intensive care unit as part of their care from within Evelina London Children’s Hospital or their local hospital.

Some children come to the unit following an accident or emergency. They either come from the emergency department, ward, surgery or are brought to us by the South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS), a specialist service for transporting critically ill children.

Changing or cancelling your visit

If you need to change or cancel your child’s appointment for any reason, please contact the surgical team. 

Please tell us as soon as possible so we can offer the appointment to another patient.

Very occasionally we may have to delay planned procedures if there are no beds available in the intensive care unit.

Before your child comes to hospital

Please bring along your child’s red book (personal child health record) and a list of any medicines your child is taking.

If you're child is having a planned operation, the team caring for your child can arrange a visit to the intensive care unit beforehand. This usually lasts about 30 minutes and gives you and your child a chance to become familiar with the intensive care environment. These visits can be arranged at short notice. To arrange a visit, please speak to the team caring for your child.

We are a teaching hospital, so students and visitors may be observing the team. We will always ask your permission for them to observe your appointment.

During your child's hospital stay - accommodation

We will provide you with accommodation while your child is staying with us, although we can't always guarantee accommodation for more than one parent or carer. We may also be able to offer accommodation for brothers or sisters if a room is available.

Find out more on the Forest Ward page.

After your child's stay in intensive care

After leaving PICU, patients are usually reviewed on the children's wards at Evelina London or transferred to your local hospital. 

For more information, see our leaflet What to expect when your child is transferred from PICU (1.15Mb). This provides a useful guide for you and your child about what happens when you leave PICU to go to a ward.

If your child is admitted directly to intensive care, we will send a copy of the discharge summary (hospital notes about your child's treatment) to the referring hospital doctor or GP.


Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) – general enquiries.

Tel: 020 7188 4500 / 4501

How to find us

Children’s intensive care
Level 2 - Forest
Evelina London Children’s Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH

How to get to Evelina London.