Smaller and Specialist Units Advisory Group (SSUAG)

Aim of SSUAG

The Smaller and Specialist Units Advisory Group (SSUAG) was set up to give a voice to units that have not historically been well represented on national bodies.

The aim is to recognise that the structure and development needs of these units may differ from larger units, and to ensure that they are supported in delivering high quality critical care to their patients. The SSUAG has representation from all four nations of the UK, and a wide geographical spread helps ensure inclusivity.

Work undertaken recently has focused on the production of a chapter in GPICS V2 to help support remote and rural units. The Specialist units also have new chapters and these have been led by Simon Gardner for Cardiothoracic ICM and Roger Lightfoot for Neurointensive care, both of whom sit on the group.


Who are SSUAG

  • Dr Chris Thorpe (Chair / Wales)
  • Dr Jonathan Aldrigde (Scotland)
  • Dr Catriona Barr (Shetlands)
  • Dr Elenor Checkley
  • Dr Chris Clarke (Northern Ireland)
  • Dr Simon Gardner (ACTACC)
  • Dr Ritoo Kapoor
  • Dr Roger Lightfoot (NACCSGBI)
  • Dr Jon Sturman (Northern England)


FICM Publications

Here you will find publications from FICM, relevant references and articles and a section where you can find blogs written by colleagues who work in these units.


By Dr Chris Thorpe 

How is policy formed within the critical care community?  Are critically ill patients best cared for in tertiary centres?  What is a smaller hospital anyway? Dr Chris Thorpe shares his thoughts


By Dr Chris Thorpe 


By Dr Chris Thorpe 


By Dr Chris Thorpe 



By Dr Chris Thorpe 



By Dr Chris Thorpe 




Further Resources

Included here are papers on centralisation and providing care in smaller hospitals. These are useful resources, as the clarion call for centralisation can get a bit overwhelming at times and it is helpful to be armed with some facts.

The nature of smaller units is that they can become isolated, so being part of a wider group is a real plus.


Combined Critical Care Unit (CCU) Summary




SSUAG has a wider group that we contact with updates from time to time. If you would like to be part of this please contact the Faculty at and let us know your email address. In addition please get in touch if you have particular areas you think the group should look at or if you would like to share your own experiences - in particular solutions to problems are always helpful so others can find out what goes on elsewhere.