Staying with your child in intensive care

PICU is different to our other wards. Because your child needs extra-special care which may include help with breathing, feeding and specialised drugs, you will see more equipment around the bed.

Unfortunately, there isn't room for you to sleep overnight next to your child as we have to be able to move freely around the bed. However, there are a few recliner chairs you can draw up close to the bed, as well as some sofas in the parents' room, which you are welcome to use.

If you would like a bedroom, there is limited accommodation within the hospital and at Ronald McDonald House, which is close by. Parents of children on PICU are given priority for accommodation (although if you live in Birmingham this will limit your chances of a room at Ronald McDonald House).

Because of all the equipment, it's quite hot in PICU so wear light, loose clothing. If you've arrived because of an emergency admission, we'll provide you with toiletries and a towel, plus a few snacks if needed. We recommend you eat and drink plenty to make sure you stay well for your child.

Visiting times

Visiting is limited to two people per bed space at any one time (including parents). Parents can stay with their children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For extended family and friends, visiting times are 10.00am until 8.00pm (parents/carers must permit for them to visit).


  • There is a parents' room with shower and toilet facilities (there are also showers and bathrooms in the hospital accommodation that you can use) and lockers for valuables
  • Tea and coffee making facilities, drinks machine and a fridge and microwave. After three days, you are entitled to a parents' food pass, which gives you a discount in the hospital café or restaurant
  • Limited Wi-Fi - please note anything you want to plug in will need to be tested by our electricians
  • Mobile phones can be used in the parents' room but not on the unit
  • If you're breastfeeding, there's a room off PICU where you can express your milk. Or you can sit next to your baby, with the curtains drawn around the bed.

If you have any needs or questions please just ask — our staff will be happy to help.