ICUsteps was established in 2005 and became a registered charity in 2006. Run by former intensive care patients and relatives we aim to improve the care and support available to patients recovering from critical illness during their long recovery.
Our aims are to:
- support patients and relatives affected by critical illness,
- promote recognition of the physical and psychological consequences of critical illness through education of the medical profession and the general public, and
- encourage research into treatment and the prevention of these issues.
We are the United Kingdom's only support group for people who have been affected by critical illness and have helped countless former patients, their relatives and medical staff from organisations around the world.
We began by providing direct support to recovering patients through drop-in meetings. At drop-in, recent patients can come and talk to other people who are further down the recovery journey, to help them realise that what the feel and think is normal for someone who'd been through critical care.
When we saw first-hand the difference this made to patient recovery, founder members Senior Sister Mo Peskett and ICU survivor Peter Gibb co-authored a paper entitled 'Developing and setting up a patient and relatives intensive care support group' which was published in the January 2009 edition of Nursing in Critical Care. From this, our network of local support groups began, now numbering over 20 groups across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
We also provide support through producing quality, patient-centered information resources.
In August 2007 we launched "Intensive Care - A guide for patients and relatives", an information booklet for patients and their relatives covering all stages of critical illness from admission through to rehabilitation which has become regarded as the gold standard for intensive care patient information by many critical care professionals.
We've added to this by translating our guide into numerous languages and extended our information resrouces by adding a series of topic focused information sheets and even an activity booklet for children visiting the ICU.
We have been active in a number of areas as part of our aim to improve patient support and highlight that recovery from critical illness does not end on discharge from hospital. As well as holding regular drop-in sessions and encouraging other groups to form, we've participated in the development of NICE guidelines for acutely ill patients in hospital (CG50), critical illness rehabilitation (CG83) and Sepsis: recognition, assessment and early management (NG51).
We've presented to medical conferences across the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. and have written