Support group guidance cover

ICUsteps and the Intensive Care Society have now published a joint guideline on setting up patient and relative intensive care support groups.

Since 2012, we’ve been working with the Intensive Care Society’s patients and relative committee to produce a joint guideline to advise healthcare professionals on how to set up support groups for ex-intensive care patients and their relatives.

The core of the guidance surrounds The Five Step Plan which provides a checklist of items that you’ll need to consider in order to establish a support group.

Central to the approach is establishing a core group of healthcare professionals, ex-patients and relatives who bond and form a partnership to become the care-givers to more recent patients and relatives who attend the support group's drop in events. The guideline also includes steps around defining a group structure, agreeing your support method, funding and the practicalities of arranging a drop in.

The guide is available for download and if you have any questions we'd be happy for you to contact us.

Download the guide

Local group pages

We have a growing number of support groups around the country holding regular meetings for patients and relatives to meet with others who really understand what they've been through.

Could you set up a support group?

If you work in critical care and would like to know more about setting up a support group in your area, view the Nursing in Critical Care article by ICUsteps trustees Mo Peskett and Peter Gibb on Developing and setting up a patient and relatives intensive care support group. We're keen to see more support groups form and want to help, so please contact us.

A year in the life of a new support group

Tracey from our Newport group has written an account of her experiences of the first twelve months in the life of a new patient support group. Read her story on how she and her group got on in their first year.

How we started our group in Chester

Miles Negus-Fancey is a former intensive care patient and he is one of the founding members of the ICUsteps Chester support group. Here he tells us how he became involved.