Recovering from Critical Care
Patients who have had major surgery or serious illness are being given on-going support and advice following discharge from hospital. A team of critical care nurses is visiting former patients in their homes to help them recover from their experience.
Research has shown that significant numbers of patients who survive critical illness or major surgery have important continuing problems of a physical and non-physical nature, such as neuropathies, associated limited mobility, breathing problems, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder.
These problems may cause increased hospital stay, readmission to hospital and overall increased recovery time. Early recognition of critical care rehabilitation needs and the provision of advice and support to patients have been proved to contribute to reducing these negative consequences of critical care and to improve the overall patient experience.
Sister Isabelle Delain-Burke, the hospital’s Critical Care Follow-up Sister said: “Patients who have been on the intensive care unit for a minimum of four days or had a stay on high dependency unit for more than 10 days are invited to attend our follow-up clinic two months after being on critical care.
“Although our inclusion criteria for the follow-up clinic include mainly patients with prolonged episodes of critical illness, we recognise that patients with relatively short ICU/HDU stay may also need substantial help.
“These patients are identified by our team during their hospital stay. At the clinic, they are seen by me and their rehabilitation needs are assessed. Reassurance and explanation are given and an individual rehabilitation plan is then designed with patient involvement.
“Further follow-up appointments are organised if required and the patient’s GP is informed and can make referrals to the appropriate health care practitioners. Hearing about the patient experience also allows us to make changes in order to improve the service we provide in our critical care units.”
For any queries, please contact Isabelle Delain-Burke, Critical Care Follow-up Sister on 01279827904 or email at: