What's Happening in the ICU Space?

What's Happening in the ICU Space?

March 27, 2020

What is happening in the ICU space? – Short answer, a lot.

Here are some ideas and actions that are being put in place around the country:

  • Provincial DHB – all RMOs are currently upskilling in crucial care, intubation and airways management.
  • We have had Reg’s volunteer to do locums in the first instance to both refresh and take some pressure off current Reg’s.
  • Some senior Reg’s will probably be redeployed from anaesthesia (preferably those with ICU experience) and to take on the Medical Emergency Team work when things ramp up.
  • We have approval coming through for additional RMO staffing for the next 6 months in some areas.
  • We will have anaesthesia specialist help (looking at intubation teams).
  • Once elective surgery reduces general surgical (and hopefully others) will have front door SMO and RMO teams in ED to take pressure off the ED staff by seeing and treating all suitable patients without them being seen by ED first.
  • Medicine are reworking rosters to decrease sub specs and clinics and bump up resp and gen med support.


We are awaiting advice on retrievals, but everyone agrees these need to be kept to a minimum.


There are some further things to think about:

  • Once there is a clear decision about whether or not rotations are to be stopped we will be able to know who is available to up skill, refresh, redeploy etc.
  • Not everyone currently in an ICU job should stay e.g. med regs might be better used back in medicine, ED in ED and if we can replace with an Anaesthetic reg with ICU experience all good. This may depend on how many Anaesthetic reg’s  (and SMOs) there are however.
  • Some RMOs won’t be suitable to stay in ICU such as our pregnant colleagues, those who are immunocompromised etc.
  • Not having to reorient and retrain a new group will probably be helpful, so stopping rotations might be on the cards (but time will tell, we are in touch with CMC on this score regarding impacts on training).