Admission to the ICU is traumatic and life-changing for patients and their relatives. Here are some advice on where you can get support:

1. Talk to your friends and family, if you can. It’s difficult – both for them and for you – but it’s an investment in your recovery.

2. Find a support group. Support groups can help with the transition by providing advice, support and lessening the load. See this list on ICUsteps’ website. Reading Support Network also offers support to patients and relatives in some parts of the UK (you can contact the Network direct via its website).

3. Start your own support group: You need a strong volunteer group of passionate people, including intensive care professionals, and it is of considerable benefit if there is hospital Rehabilitation after Critical Illness team that can channel what you offer to patients. Download a step-by-step guide on our website.

4. Use the RaCI (Rehabilitation after Critical Illness) or Outreach Team – if offered by the Trust – they are likely, depending on the organisation, to be able to give you:

  • Visits on ward after discharge from ICU (help relieve the insecurity of moving from one-on-one nursing to one-on-eight typical on general wards).
  • Visits to a follow-up clinic for patients and relatives plus a one-to-one visit to the unit.
  • A diary with a day-to-day account of your stay. This can help you understand what the team has done and help fill in any blanks.
  • 24/7 availability to discuss problems (physical and psychological).

5. You can also read more information about patients and relatives on our website.

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