Transferring your child to PICU

Information for Parents and Families


Welcome to Children’s Medical Emergency Transport (COMET).

We understand that this is an extremely stressful time for you and your family and we aim to make your child’s transfer as easy as possible; please do not hesitate to ask the team about any further questions you may have.

The COMET team are a specialised team made up of experienced doctors and nurses in Paediatric Intensive Care. Our team are here to transport your child safely to a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit within the East Midlands area.

There will be a lot of equipment with
your child which is further explained
below. The team may also use abbrevia-
tions which you may not be familiar with;
information on these can be found later in the section “Abbreviations explained”.

You and your family play an essential part in the care of your child, you know your child better than anyone else so please let us know if there is anything that you feel maybe important to your child’s care, so we can deliver the best possible care. Your face and voice are important in your child’s care and you will be encouraged to interact with your child as much as you feel comfortable to do.

Why does my child need to be transferred?

Children’s intensive care is only provided in a small number of specialist units and your local hospital may not have this facility.

Although your local hospital may not have this facility they will have performed the necessary procedures to stabilise your child.

Your child needs to be transferred to a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for further specialist care with nurses and doctors with experience in looking after and supporting sick and critically ill children.

Who will be taking care of my child?

There will be many different people taking care of your child whilst being transferred. The COMET team will be made up of:

COMET Consultants – senior children’s doctors who specialise in intensive care and transport COMET Registrars – doctors specialising in paediatrics including transport

COMET ACPs – advanced healthcare professionals who specialise in paediatric critical care and transporting children

COMET Nurses – specialised nurses in caring for and transporting sick children
COMET Trainees – there may also be doctors, nurses and students in training, learning about the

transport team

What does all the equipment do?

There are a lot of different pieces of equipment around your child that will be supporting them whilst they are ill. Please ask if you are unsure or would like any more information on what the equipment does but we do insist that you do not touch any of this equipment as it may affect your child’s care.

Information about Nottingham PCCU

Nottingham’s Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) has 14 critical care beds and cares for children of all ages, from birth to 18 years of age. It has an integrated High Dependency Unit and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Nottingham specialises in caring for children with breathing problems, brain conditions or kidney problems, as well as children who have been in an accident and children with cancer.

How to find Nottingham PCCU? Please use postcode NG7 2UH

Direct phone number to PICU: 0115 9709232

Directions to Nottingham PCCU

The PCCU is located in the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) on Derby Road on the western side of the city, just on the east side (inside) of the Nottingham ring road at its junction with the A52. The A52 crosses the M1 at junction 25.

Leave the M1 motorway at junction 25, and take the ‘A52 to Nottingham’, past Stapleford, Bramcote and Wollaton Park. As you pass the university on your right you will come to a large traffic island with QMC on the right immediately after the island. Turn right here, take the first slip road on the left into the hospital grounds and continue along the hospital perimeter road.

Park and Ride – Medilink

Queen’s Drive Park and Ride site is located off Queens Drive near A52, Clifton Bridge.
A Medilink bus service operates between this site and the QMC. To find using your satnav, use the

postcode NG2 1AP.
For the latest car parking and travel information, please visit

Car Parking

The main patient and visitor parking areas at QMC are car park 1 (East Road) and car park 3 (access at the junction between East Road and South Road).

Parking charges

0 – 15 minutes Free 16 minutes – 1 hour £2
1 – 2 hours £4
2 – 4 hours £5.50 Up to 8 hours £6.50 Up to 24 hours £8

Please note these prices are correct of December 2020, there may be slight differences in the prices if these have been updated since then. You can pay by cash at the parking machines outside, or by credit/debit card at the car parking and security office (inside the main entrance).

One-week permits are also available from the car parking and security office. Payment is by cash or credit/debit card. Concessions are made for visitors who need to attend hospital
regularly. Please ask a member of staff for more information.

How to find the unit

From main entrance: On entering the main entrance, located on B floor, turn left. Follow this corridor to the end. At the end turn left and then right where you will reach the main lift and stairs for East block (purple block).

Take the lift up to E floor. Turn left out of the lift and left again past the drinks machines. The PCCU is on your right hand side. Please ring the door bell once and a member of staff will let you in.

From East Block Entrance: Once you have parked your car in the visitors’ car park the easiest route to PCCU is to walk down Stores Road. Turn right down east Road and then enter the hospital through the East Block entrance opposite the blue railings. On entering East block you will pass an information point.

Turn right at the junction and follow the corridor until you reach the end at which point you need to turn left and turn left again, where you will reach East Block lifts.

Take the lift up to E floor. Turn left out of the lift and left again past the drinks machines. The PICU is on your right hand side. Please ring the door bell once and a member of staff will let you in.

Out of hours this entrance may be closed, so go through main entrance.

Facilities for parents and carers

Nottingham PCCU provides overnight accommodation with washing facilities close to the unit for parents. Due to the children’s care needs, parents are not able to sleep at children’s bedsides.

Parents’ rooms will be arranged by the Family Liaison Team or nursing staff upon arrival in the unit.

Information about Leicester Royal Infirmary CICU

The Children’s Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Leicester Royal Infirmary looks after children from birth to 18 years of age.

The Children’s Hospital specialises in caring for children with stomach/intestinal problems, children with cancer and children with breathing conditions.

The CICU has 6 beds, which support children with respiratory illnesses and cardiac conditions as well as following surgery.

How to find Leicester CICU? Please use postcode LE1 5WW

Direct Phone number: 0116 258 6302

Directions to CICU, Leicester Royal Infirmary

Leicester Royal Infirmary is situated on the southern edge of the city centre of Leicester.

Directions to the hospital appear on major road signs when you exit the motorways (M69/M1) and around the city.

The main onsite patient and visitor parking is located on Havelock Street.

Car Parking

The car park is Pay on Exit and payment can be made by cash or credit/debit card.

Parking charges

0 – 30 minutesFree3 – 4 hours£4.40
Up to 1 hour£1.704 – 8 hours£6.60
1 – 2 hours£2.808-12 hours£11.00
2 – 3 hours£3.3012-24 hours£13.00

Please note these prices are correct of December 2020, there may be slight differences in the prices if these have been updated since then.

Reduced weekly/monthly parking is available and a form can be obtained from staff on the unit.

Daily, weekly and monthly saver tickets are also available from the car parking office (Windsor Building).For the latest car parking and travel information, please visit

How to find the unit

From the Havelock Street car park, follow the signs for main entrance located in the Windsor Building.

Enter the Windsor Building where you will find main reception on your right. Continue along the corridor to the end and turn right into Balmoral Building.

Continue down the corridor and turn right into the Balmoral lift lobby. Take a lift to the fourth floor. Turn left out of the lift through the double doors and turn left again where you will find the unit on your right, in front of ward 12.

Facilities for parents and carers

There are three parents rooms available at CICU. However the staff will always endeavour to find you somewhere to stay if they are not available. All parents can help themselves to breakfast and for breastfeeding mums all meals are provided.

Information about Leicester Cardiac PICU

Coming soon….

Will I be able to travel with my child?

There may be the opportunity for one parent to travel with us in the ambulance, depending on staffing and vehicles. The transport team will talk to you about this, but please ask them if they don’t mention it.

This may not be possible due to infection risks (for example, but not limited to, Covid-19), we will let you know if this is the case.

If you suffer from motion sickness it may be advisable for you not to travel in the ambulance. If you do travel with your child you will be expected to remain seated with your seat belt fastened unless told otherwise by a member of our team.

If you are unable to travel with your child please do not attempt to follow our ambulance. Please ensure you travel at a safe and steady speed. Our team will give you information about the hospital your child is being transferred to.

Abbreviations explained

AccessCannula in the vein
Art lineArterial cannula
BMBlood sugar
BPBlood Pressure
Cap RefillCapillary Refill
CO2Carbon Dioxide
CVLCentral Venous Line
ETAEstimated arrival time
ETTEndotracheal Tube (breathing tube in windpipe)
GasBlood Test
InotropesMedicine to help the heart
IOIntravenous (type of cannula that goes in the bone
IVIntravenous (giving medicine through a cannula into the vein)
LineCannula in vein or artery
NIVNon-Invasive ventilation
LRILeicester Royal infirmary
Notts/QMCNottingham Queens Medical Centre
PumpSyringe Pump
SatsOxygen Saturation
TrolleyRetrieval trolley that your child lies on
TubeEndotracheal Tube (breathing

Concerns about your child’s transfer

The transport team will be with your child throughout the journey in the ambulance. We will be observing and monitoring your child for any changes in their condition throughout the journey. We will also make regular notes on your child’s condition during the journey which we will share with the team in the hospital your child is transferred to. If you have any concerns please speak to one of the transport team before they leave in the ambulance.

We welcome any comments or feedback about our team. We would appreciate if you could complete the parent/carer feedback questionnaire by scanning the QR code overleaf. This will take approximately 2 minutes and provides us with invaluable information to help us to improve our service.

Alternatively, if you have any other questions, concerns or feedback, please contact our Transport Team Leader, Dan Walsh at:

COMET Transport Service

Level 2, Jarvis Building Leicester Royal infirmary Leicester


Please be aware that your child’s information and vital signs may be stored on the transport equipment and also remotely on an online database as part of our patient records. Be assured that all information will we stored in accordance with data protection legislation.

We welcome parent/carer feedback. Please scan the QR code to complete our anonymous questionnaire.