Levels of Care

All hospitals classify patients according to their needs. This helps them to provide the best possible care in the most appropriate part of the hospital and tailor their services to suit your requirements. You may see your relative or friend fit into one or more of these categories as they move through their critical illness:

  • Level 0

    Patients whose needs can be met through normal ward care in an acute hospital.

  • Level 1

    Patients at risk of their condition deteriorating, or those recently relocated from higher levels of care, whose needs can be met on an acute ward with additional advice and support from the critical care team.

  • Level 2

    Patients requiring more detailed observation or intervention including support for a single failing organ system or post-operative care and those ‘stepping down’ from higher levels of care.

  • Level 3

    Patients requiring advanced respiratory support alone or basic respiratory support together with support of at least two organ systems. This level includes all complex patients requiring support for multi-organ failure.

Most patients who require critical care services fit into either Levels 2 or 3. Patients may come to us after complex surgery, as a result of overwhelming infection or after trauma. Occasionally children are admitted to our critical care areas for stabilisation before they are transferred to a specialist paediatric centre.