Information on Critical Care for Patients & Relatives
The Network is committed to working and engaging with patients, carers and the public. Ensuring that people’s views are heard is important to us for creating and delivering better critical care services. Why not get involved in the following ways:
The input from patients, carers and users is therefore essential to create the user led healthcare system we aspire to. Patient and public involvement also assists in the scrutiny of services through representing people’s views, and provides them with a route to assuring the quality of the services they use.
If you would like to share your experiences of critical care services or know more about the friendly and welcoming support groups available across the Lancashire and South Cumbria area, then please contact us. We’d be happy to hear your views about the care received or areas you think could be made better.
There are many other sites that can provide information to support patients and relatives. below are just two of those. Click on the pictures below to be directed to their websites!
The Network continues in its attempts to engage with past critically ill patients, their families and friends. We are keen to seek their views on what matters to them and what we can do better.
We have been pleased with the response to attend our High Tea Events to date, and have had the opportunity to hear the experiences patients and families had whilst in critical care and following discharge from hospital. The Network recognises the value of these events and is planning more of these over the year; see the our HOME page for details!
Work has been underway to determine the experiences of patients suffering from delirium. Through the engagement of past patients sharing their personal accounts of their critical care stay and the impact on their physical and psychological well-being, video clips have been produced and can be viewed by clicking on the videos below.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals: Critical Care Patient & Relatives Support Group.
I am a sister in the critical care unit at LTHTr with particular interest in the impact that a period of critical illness may have on patients and relatives long after they have been discharged from the unit and hospital.
At the moment the unit provides a follow up service for patients that have been with us for 4 days or more on the unit whether they have been a level 2 (HDU) or level 3 (ICU) patient. They are consultant supervised and have senior nurse and psychology input. At these appointments which should be at 8 -12 weeks post discharge from the unit we screen for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and any physical problems that have been caused by a stay in the unit not directly related to their reason for admission.
Despite our best efforts patients may suffer from problems related to:
Therefore when a letter of enquiry landed in my mail tray in March 2013, I wanted to know more. It was from Helen Willott a previous patient of our critical care unit. Her experiences in the unit have motivated her to set up this support group. At this time she was 5 years on from her admission and although considered herself recovered physically she suffered from PTSD. She wanted her experiences to help others that have been in a similar situation.
I contacted Helen and we met to discuss possibilities. We met on the CrCU in the April, however this in itself was difficult for Helen as she had not been back to the unit since her admission and I could see it had an effect on her. Therefore future meetings were in the M and S café at Deepdale! Prior to our meeting I looked at what was available already out there. ICU Steps is a charity that offers a similar service, well established since 2005 in Milton Keynes, closer ones were in Merseyside but the earliest meeting was in May in MK. Therefore we travelled to MK on the 16th May and met Peter Gibbs the ex-patient who set up that group and Maureen Peskett my equivalent at MK CrCU. They advised us on the best way to start and we also attended a meeting. The venue was perfect, an Age UK facility which they paid a nominal fee. We were enthused and on the journey home were planning our next steps. First meeting in September 2013 was our goal.
I contacted our Patient and Public Involvement lead to ask for advice and consulted them throughout the process. That is when I realised it was a huge task. Who do we invite? How many years do I go back? How do I ensure that those I am inviting have not died? In order to uphold the Data Protection Act Helen could not help me at all she could only take over when the group was up and running with people that had chosen to come and share their information. It was a long process and 500 plus letters, checks on quadramed I sent out invites in early January 2014 and had a 10% response rate. We held our first meeting March 2014 and our second in April.
The first meeting was well attended, perhaps too successful. We held it in the conservatory in Charters restaurant in the evening the interaction we anticipated did happen people sharing their experiences and how they are coping giving and taking advice but numbers stopped people from talking to everybody. We realised that it would not be for everybody and one session would be enough. We anticipated peaks and troughs in attendance with people coming for as many times as it requires for them to take something from it. We even anticipated that sometimes we may have no attendees.
Since its beginnings the venue, day and times have changed by listening to the attendees and what they think will work. It is now held every 8 weeks, in our education centre refectory, free parking and refreshments and cakes. One of our regulars is a keen baker and supplies us with lovely treats.
I want to emphasise that is this Helen’s initiative aided with our support as otherwise it would not have been possible. At the meetings we don’t want them to be clinically focused. Staff on the unit are keen to help out and we have just one per group as it is a peer to peer group and not a clinic and we usually end up serving the refreshments whilst the group chats. However a member of the unit can answer the questions that members of the group have if needed. Staff volunteer to help and the information they get will be relayed back to the unit staff to improve the care we give.
If you have a patient that has been on the CrCU then please mention the group to them and their relatives and direct them to the website.
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