high dependency unit
ward 215

Ward 215 HDU Information

Ward 215 is a 12 bedded Renal and Transplant High Dependency Unit (HDU) managed by Senior Charge Nurse Wendy King and Senior Charge Nurse Steven Jones. Under their guidance you will receive a high standard of individualised, evidence based care in a safe, clean environment. This care is provided in a friendly, open environment which supports and encourages questioning from patients and relatives alike.

Visiting HDU Update

As of Monday 26 April, each patient can now have at least one designated visitor where circumstances allow. We want to balance person centered approaches with safety as we move forward and therefore ask that you follow our guidance below. 

  1. We will work with you and our patients to establish a visiting plan.
  2. To ensure that there are not high numbers of people in multi-bedded rooms we are offering a booking system, please arrange a time to visit.
  3. Please do not visit if you have COVID symptoms or have been identified as a contact of someone who is.
  4. On arrival please check-in with a member of the ward team who will make sure that it is safe to visit.
  5. Each patient should have a designated visitor (this can be changed throughout the stay if required), this will be flexible and maybe more than one person in situations where patients are nearing end of life, for patients with dementia, for children who to visit or for those who can't visit independently.
  6. You must wear a face covering during your visit and follow infection control guidance.
  7. We want to ensure that our patients have close contact with you during the visit, therefore holding hands is permitted but you must adhere to hand hygiene requirements, however there is no requirement to wear gloves.
  8. During outbreaks we may need to amend our guidance to maintain safety.
  9. Physical distancing should be adhered to in communal areas of the hospital.
  10. The name and contact details of those visiting will be kept should we need to inform test and protect.

Thank you for following our guidance and helping keep everyone safe.

Ward 215 cares for patients who are usually more unwell than on a general ward but not needing intensive care (ITU/ICU). Each nurse usually cares for two patients allowing for close monitoring and observation. Senior Charge Nurses, Wendy King and Steve Jones, are supported by a team of almost 50 staff. 

Ward 215 cares for the following types of patients:

  • new acute kidney injury
  • existing chronic or end stage renal disease with an acute problem
  • pre- and post- kidney, pancreas, simultaneous kidney-pancreas, liver, and islet cell transplants
  • previous transplant patients with an acute problem
  • acute liver failure

Most patients will be connected to the monitor which gives constant readings of blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels & breathing rates. Most patients will have large lines in their necks or groins (central lines or dialysis lines) and some will have a line in their wrist called an arterial line measuring their blood pressure. You may well have a cannula in your arm or hand too through which we can give fluids or medicines. The nurses will check temperatures and blood sugar levels regularly too.

You will be given diet and fluids if the medical and surgical staff feel its appropriate. The nurses will help you with this. Some patients receive special feeds through a drip or tube via their nose into their stomach when they are unable to eat normally.

If you have had surgery you may have a drain in to drain excess fluid from your wound as well as a dressing on your wound.

Most patients will have a urinary catheter in their bladder which the nurses will empty every hour.

We encourage most patients to get up and sit daily and mobilise gently in the ward as able.

The nurses will give you all your prescribed medications and ensure you feel comfortable. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need extra pain killers or anti-sickness medication or you are worried about any aspect of your care.

You will have bloods taken most days; this allows us to keep a close eye on your progress. Patients who have a problem with their kidneys may receive dialysis or filtration to support their kidneys.

Ward Rounds are daily and you will be seen by a team of doctors, nurses and other staff such as pharmacists, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and research staff.

Visitors/visiting times

We understand that having visitors is very important; we try to be flexible and respond to individual circumstances. We do ask for only two visitors per patient at any one time and that no children under the age of 12 visit unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is for infection control and health and safety reasons.

Visitors are also politely asked not to bring flowers in for patients.

Within the ward there is a pleasant visitor’s waiting room with tea and coffee making facilities. Please ask your visitors to help themselves to tea and coffee.

We also have two overnight rooms. These are allocated free of charge on an, as required basis, by the nurse in charge. They are allocated for a maximum of two nights, allowing time for alternative accommodation to be arranged.


Infection prevention

We do our best to reduce the spread of infection and you can help us with this.

Infection can be spread from person to person by hand contact so hand washing is one of the ways to prevent spread of infection. Please ask all those touching you to wash their hands. Please also ask friends/relatives not to visit if they have a cold or are not feeling well.

To prevent spread of infection we also ask that visitors do not sit on patient beds/chairs and instead use visitor chairs provided. 


Money and valuables

We cannot be held responsible for any valuables you bring into hospital which are not handed in for safe keeping. We recommend that you keep only a small amount of money on you in hospital and ask family member or friend to take valuables home.


Stepping down from HDU to the ward

When the staff deem you well enough you will be moved (bed permitting) to ward 206 r, 206 t or 205.

The staff there care for between 6-8 patients. You will be deemed ward fit when we think you no longer need close observation and you are getting better. This move is a positive thing. You will be encouraged to be independent with washing, dressing and mobilising. Staff will still monitor you closely & give you medicines.


Valuing feedback

We welcome all forms of feedback; we are keen to hear what went well and importantly, how we can improve the care and services that we provide.

There are questionnaires you can complete if you wish. Please speak to the senior charge nurse or their deputy if you have any concerns.

We as a team aim to create a ward where patient’s individual needs are met and provide safe, evidence-based patient care to all.

Mutual respect, appreciation, and dignity amongst all members of the multi-disciplinary team is of the utmost importance and is the key to providing a caring work environment.

We hope to create a clean, organised, and well working ward where staff development is central to reaching our goals.

Most importantly, our aim is for patients to feel safe and cared for with no question too big or too small. We want patients to feel they are involved in their care and full explanations will be given and treatment options where available.

What should I bring with me when I am admitted as an inpatient?

Bring all medications, comfy night clothes, socks & change of underwear, comfortable casual clothing to wear, phone and charger, glasses, toiletries including toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, and hairbrush.

You may wish to bring something to read or watch to keep yourself entertained such as books, magazines, and/or tablets.

Bring a small amount of cash. We do not advise bringing large sums of cash, valuables or large suitcase.


Am I allowed visitors?

As of Monday 26th October, visiting the HDU is suspended unless in the case of end of life care or emergency circumstances. 

Call the ward (0131 242 2153 – available at all times) for up to date information as COVID is a rapidly changing situation.

You must wear a mask throughout your visit and supply a copy of your contact details before you leave. Please ensure you maintain good hand hygiene either by washing your hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Visitors for acutely ill or palliative patients are permitted at all times, at the discretion of nurse in charge. No children and do not visit if unwell.


What can I expect whilst I’m a HDU transplant inpatient?

Whilst you are an inpatient we will encourage you to learn how to self-administer medicines and self-care for getting better. You will be provided with handbooks and materials to support your education. We are always looking at ways of enhancing recovery to ensure hospital stays are reduced and patients learn to care for themselves and their new transplants.


When are patient meal times?

Breakfast is served between 8-9am, lunch is served between 12-1pm, and dinner is served between 5-6pm.


Who are some the people (members of staff) I will meet on the ward?

You will meet many members of staff including but not limited to:

  • Senior charge nurse
  • Deputy charge nurse
  • Staff nurse
  • Clinical support worker
  • Ward clerks
  • Consultants
  • Surgeons
  • Junior doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Dieticians
  • Research staff

When can I visit the HDU?

As of Monday 26th October, visiting HDU is suspended due to COVID-19.

Family and loved ones will be allowed to visit for end of life care or in emergency situations.​ A member of staff will contact you with an update should circumstances change.


Am I allowed to bring anything for my relative/friend?

Yes – snacks, drinks, reading materials, clean clothes or nightwear.

Please no flowers!

Please note that we cannot reheat food and have limited fridge space.


Is there anywhere I can stay at or near the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh?

We have two relatives’ rooms next to Ward 215. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you are interested in staying in one of these.

There is also the Transplant Flat and a small amount of other relatives rooms in the Royal Infirmary.

There are also plenty of Bed and Breakfast establishments and hotel accommodation in the area. The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is also well served by bus links should be travelling from elsewhere within Edinburgh.

We recommend you call the ward before travelling if you have any doubts about where to stay as we cannot guarantee accommodation.

Location of Ward 215 HDU

Ward 215 HDU is located on the second floor. The main visitor entrance is opposite Ward 208 and the small cafe.

If entering by the Royal Infirmary main door, take the lifts up to the second floor and turn to the left towards Wards 205-209. When you arrive outside Ward 215 HDU, buzz in at the door and a member of staff will answer.

Contact information

Base 1 telephone number: 0131 242 2150

Staff base telephone number: 0131 242 2153

Protected meal time: 17:00-17:30

Please note that handover is between 0730-0800 and 1930-2000 so aim to avoid these times if possible. We advise families to nominate one person to call us to save multiple calls.