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Intensive care patients welcome new support group

Intensive Care Consultants, Outreach Nurses, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists  from Worcestershire’s hospitals are offering support and advice to patients who have suffered a critical illness and spent time in an Intensive Care Unit, at a new support group. 

Each meeting provides education and support to patients as well as an opportunity to share their experiences following their stay on ICU at the Alexandre or Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Friends and family members are also invited to come along to increase their understanding and get advice from the team of intensive care experts.

Critical Care Outreach Charge Nurse, Chris Harris said: “In December 2017 the ICU team set up a follow up service for patients, which continues to flourish, evolve and grow.”

“The success of this service identified the need for another service and led to us arranging the patient support group for those who need ongoing support post discharge.”

Many patients who have spent time in an Intensive care unit can leave with ongoing psychological issues as the intensive care environment can be a daunting experience. Attending the support group and receiving support and advice from experts and fellow patients can help reassure patients post discharge as they share their experiences with others.

Former patient Neil Shepherd, 37 who spent four days on ICU in December 2017 after respiratory failure and two cardiac arrests said: “I've found it hard to come to terms with what happened to me. Subsequent to being in ICU I've experienced PTSD, and found it a real battle to deal with the psychological fall out from what I experienced.”

“No one really understands what it's like to be a patient in ICU unless they've experienced it first-hand. The support group is a fantastic way to meet others  who have also experienced the trauma of ICU, and it's comforting to know that the fears I have, are shared by so many other former ICU patients. It's inspiring to be around so many other brave former ICU patients, as well as the amazing ICU staff.”

“The team are nothing short of inspirational. They are incredible professionals, and so compassionate too and it speaks volumes for how much they genuinely care about patient well-being.”