Critical Care beds are an expensive and a limited resource, providing specialised monitoring equipment, a high degree of medical expertise and highly trained nurses.
If all the beds in a particular hospital are full, and everything possible has been tried to create a bed, then doctors will look for a critical care bed in another hospital.
We always look at the opposite site first (Conquest or Eastbourne) and then further afield but as close as possible as we are mindful of the difficulties relatives will have with visiting.
The transfer is usually by ambulance but sometimes by air ambulance. A Critical Care Doctor, Nurse, Ambulance crew and all the equipment accompany the patient.
Sometimes patients need to move to other hospitals for specialised treatments i.e. neurological, cardiac or paediatrics. Once stable, they are usually returned to their local hospital prior to discharge home.