The Nepean Intensive Care Web Site

Blue Mountains High Dependency Unit

The Blue Mountains High Dependency Unit is an integral part of the Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital (BMDAMH) in Katoomba, NSW, Australia. The BMDAMH is an 81 bed acute general and surgical, obstetric, paediatric hospital which includes 18 rehabilitation and 2 palliative care beds. It is part of the Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS), which is responsible for maximising the health of people living in the areas serviced by hospitals west to Portland and east to Auburn.

Part of the unique charm of the hospital is the fact that it is built in the centre of the Blue Mountains National park. This park is part of the massive Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The area, which was inscribed on the World Heritage list in December 2000, covers one million hectares – around twice the size of Brunei. Half of it is wilderness and it is a very popular tourist destination.


The High Dependency Unit (HDU) is a highly specialised and discrete ward within the BMDAMH consisting of 4 beds. It is specially equipped for Critical Care and is staffed by specialist nursing and medical practitioners. The HDU is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the care of the critically ill. Under the leadership of the Nurse Unit Manager Nick Delbridge the HDU has a unique combination of highly skilled nurses delivering professional care with the friendly atmosphere found only in a small, specialised unit.

Objectives of the HDU

Admission to the HDU

Being a medical / surgical HDU the casemix is wide and varied. Examples of common indications for admission are:

In general the HDU will accept patients whose condition requires close observation, the possibility of immediate resuscitation, cardiac monitoring or whose acuity is such that a high level of nursing care is required, which is not available in a general ward. Intubated and ventilated patients remain in the HDU only while immediate resuscitation is being undertaken and while arrangements are made for transfer to the Nepean Intensive Care or other metropolitan Intensive Care Units. Patients are however routinely treated in the HDU with mask CPAP and BiPAP.

Links with the Nepean ICU

The BMDAMH High Dependency Unit and the Nepean Intensive Care Unit have had an informal program of staff exchange for several years now. In this exchange a member of the HDU nursing staff will work for several weeks in the Intensive Care Unit aiming to acquire or maintain skills in caring for critically ill patients on ventilators, CVVHD and other modalities of treatment not available in BMDAMH. A staff member from the Nepean Intensive Care Unit will work in the HDU aiming to learn the skills and techniques of a small but very skilled specialty area. Areas new to staff in the Nepean Intensive Care area include care of the Acute Myocardial Infarct patient (catered for in Nepean in a specialty Cardiology Unit) and care of patients undergoing Sleep Studies.

Contact the BMDAMH HDU

Phone (Australia): 02 47846524
Phone (Outside Australia): +61 247846524