Discharged patients recovering from critical illness were invited to a social event at K&C’s physiotherapy department to celebrate their ongoing recovery.
This is part of the work the critical care follow up rehabilitation team are doing to support these patients.
People who have been critically ill in intensive care can experience many different effects after discharge - from physical issues like profound muscle wasting, fatigue and polyneuropathies to memory loss, anxiety and depression.
The critical care follow up team was formed to provide support by monitoring and assessing the patient on the ward after leaving ITU and after discharge home. They invite patients who have gone home to a rehabilitation class run on Tuesday mornings in the physiotherapy gym, where patients have the opportunity to exercise and interact with other people with similar experiences and staff who have insight into what they have been through.
The team is also busy teaching ward nurses about the needs of patients who are transferred from critical care. They have put on a local study morning which included a guided visit to ITU and talks - including a talk by a follow up patient. The morning was well evaluated and the team is keen to repeat it. They are also working to start an ongoing support group for patients.
The team has won the ‘Best Concurrent Paper Award’ at the National British Association of Critical Care Nurses Conference 2013 and has presented its work locally at the Kent and Medway Critical Care Network.