New South Wales Government
Agency for Clinical Innovation
About ICCMU | contact us
Home > Community > The ICU > ICU Locations (NSW)

John Hunter Hospital

John Hunter Hospital
Lookout Road, New Lambton
NSW, 2310
61 02 49213000
Type of Unit

Unit Services

John Hunter Hospital is part of Hunter New England Local Health District, an area health service that provides care for approximately 840,000 people, and covers a geographical area of over 130,000 square kilometres.  It is the principal referral centre, teaching hospital for the area. The John Hunter Hospital is the only trauma centre in NSW outside Sydney, and has the busiest emergency department in the state.  The hospital provides a range of adult and paediatric medical and surgical services.

Our multidisciplinary tertiary Intensive Care Unit (ICU) provides specialist services for adult, paediatric, cardiothoracic intensive care. It also includes a High Dependency Unit. Disciplines available at the hospital include emergency medicine, trauma, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, general surgery, renal medicine, respiratory medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, obstetrics, gynaecology and endocrinology.

In the General ICU we can provide patients with a wide range of monitoring and treatment, including standard and advanced forms of continuous cardiac monitoring, non-invasive and invasive ventilation, renal dialysis and other forms of “advanced life-support”.

The unit also provides a “mobile ICU” via a dedicated retrieval service comprised of a doctor and nurse using helicopter and ambulance transport to move critically ill patients to John Hunter Hospital and other tertiary referral centres. This is assisted by the hospital having an on-site helipad.

The ICU provides and co-ordinates a Rapid Response Team (RRT)  throughout the hospital, assisting with patients who rapidly become unwell.


A multidisciplinary health care team cares for the patients admitted to the ICU.

Specialist doctors trained in intensive care medicine, provide senior medical coverage 24 hours a day/seven days a week. The senior specialists also direct a team of junior doctors who work in the ICU.

Nursing Unit Managers co-ordinate the provision of nursing care, and a specialist Intensive Care Nurse is in charge of each shift to co-ordinate care at the bedside. For patients who are very unwell and have high levels of need, one nurse will care for one patient. When patients are not as sick, or have less level of need, one nurse will care for two patients.

Allied Health teams help us provide holistic care. These include a social worker, physiotherapists (dedicated to the ICU), Aboriginal Liaison Officer, pharmacists, dietitians, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and a range of other specialties as needed. Of course, we also have our own dedicated team of cleaners, wardspersons and secretarial staff. The hospital’s pastoral care staff are also available to provide comfort and support to patients and their families.


The ICU is on level three at the eastern end of the hospital. Information desks are available at the hospital’s two main entrances, and out of hours security staff will provide visitors with directions to the unit. The entrance to the unit is fitted with electronically controlled doors. Next to these there is a phone, and a list of contact numbers for all areas of the unit. All relatives are expected to use this phone, and call to speak with the bedside nurse, before entering the unit. All mobile phones must be switched off whilst visiting the unit, as they may interfere with equipment. Taking photos is not permitted in the ICU to maintain staff and patient privacy.

John Hunter Hospital ICU does not have specified visiting hours. Visitor admission to the unit is at the discretion of nursing staff, and is dependant on care activities. Between the hours of 7am and 9am visiting is not allowed due to patient’s having x-rays, pathology testing and medical rounds.

A waiting room that contains ample seating, tea and coffee facilities, a television and a public phone, is available outside the unit. This is a waiting area, not a sleeping area, and we ask that you respect that this area is shared by many relatives often under significant stress.

Due to room space, and our commitment to ensure optimum care and a safe environment for patients, only two (2) visitors at a time will be allowed to visit each patient.  This will be strictly adhered to in all but the most serious situations. At times, the bedside nurse may ask you to leave the patient care area and go to the waiting room whilst certain cares and tests are performed. This is to again ensure an optimum and safe environment, to reduce stress for the patient and visitors, and to ensure that the dignity and privacy of the patient is maintained.

We do encourage that initially visitors are restricted to immediate family or significant others only. We also understand that the times when relatives are able to visit varies, but we do encourage families to go home at night, and attempt to rest and recoup in a familiar environment.

We ask families to elect one member to be a “contact person” who all other relatives can call to find out details of their relative’s condition. This reduces confusion, phone calls to busy intensive care phone lines, and allows families to keep up to date, without taking the bedside nurse away from caring and monitoring your relative.

Every attempt is made to regularly meet with family members and update you on your relative’s condition and progress. These meetings are often held in a room attached to the ICU. A doctor and the bedside nurse will attend these meetings. A social worker or pastoral care worker may also attend if required. If you have any questions about these meetings, or accessing pastoral support or social workers, please do not hesitate to ask the bedside nurse.

Visitor Services

John Hunter Hospital has three on-site relative accommodation facilities -  Kookaburra Cottages 1 and 2, and Uncle Bob’s Yallarwah Cottage. These are managed and provided for by our hospital volunteers, the John Hunter Site Carers. The cottages provide comfortable accommodation in a supported environment for family and carers of adult patients. While every effort is made to meet the needs of people requiring accommodation, demand is high, and we cannot guarantee the availability of on-site accommodation.  For parents of children admitted to the hospital, there is a Ronald McDonald House on-site. These services can be accessed by the Intensive Care Social Worker.

A range of retail and other services are available at the hospital, including a newsagent, florist (we are happy to have flowers and cards in patients’ rooms but space is limited and safety and hygiene is the priority), pharmacy, food outlets/coffee shops, hospital cafeteria, gift shop, building society and ATMs.

Other Hospital Services

Other specialised services provided by the hospital include a Coronary Care Unit, a Dialysis Unit and a Stroke Unit. The John Hunter Children’s Hospital provides a range of specialist services for children including medical, surgical and paediatric oncology as well as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Car parking on the campus is managed by Interpark. Weekly passes are available from the attendant at the Interpark parking booth in the main visitor car park.

Between 8.30am and 3.30pm on weekdays, it can be difficult to find a park at the hospital. As a convenient option for visitors, Hunter New England Health has a free off-site parking and shuttle bus service operating from Energy Australia Stadium.  For more information:

How To Get To John Hunter Hospital

John Hunter Hospital has published a very detailed guide to the location of the hospital. Please click on the following link to access this guide (Type in 'John Hunter'):

A map of the hospitals's location is below. A more detailed map can be found at the Whereis Online WebSite.

Site Map

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 23:51