Community rehabilitation for all ICU patients

ICUsteps #RehabIsCritical Campaign

ICUsteps have launched the #RehabIsCritical Campaign to demand improved services for intensive care patients after leaving hospital.

Thank you to the 6341 people who signed the petition and added their voices to ours to say Rehab is critical. Find out more about the petition.

Many intensive care patients do not receive the support they need once they are discharged from hospital. Intensive care treatment saves lives, but we urgently need better provision in place to rebuild those lives once patients are home.

Critical care may save our lives, but we need support and rehabilitation to give those lives back to us.

Peter Gibb, ICUsteps Co-Founder and former intensive care patient says: “At ICUsteps, we have first hand experience of intensive care – either as a patient, relative or as an intensive care healthcare professional. We know that people can feel broken after a critical illness. Surviving the illness and returning home is only the first step in a very long recovery period. People can still be very ill, they can feel scared and isolated, and sometimes it feels like there is not one area of their lives that has not been changed by their experience. People must have specialist rehabilitation to make sure they achieve the best recovery they can. Critical care may save our lives, but we need support and rehabilitation to give those lives back to us.

Patron of the #RehabIsCritical campaign is renowned author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen says: “I was in intensive care for 48 days in 2020, 40 days of which I was in an induced coma. When I woke up, I experienced many of the problems familiar to former patients of ICU wards: unable to walk, dizziness, overall weakness with the addition of the after-effects of my particular illness - Covid. I agree with the objectives of ICUsteps. Before going home, we need dedicated 'bridging' care to enable us to progress and cope both physically and mentally.

ICUsteps has joined with organisations who represent those who care for intensive care patients, urging Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health, to take action now and establish the community rehabilitation services that patients desperately need.

ICUsteps Chief Executive Catherine White has published an editorial in the British Medical Journal and a supporting article in the BMJ Blog highlighting the inconsistent services across the country for those recovering from critical illness.

To find out more about the needs of patients after ICU, and why we must have a care pathway in place, listen to Catherine in conversation with Jonathan Downham.

Read our open letter

Help make a difference

On National ICU Rehabilitation Day, we at ICUsteps want to pay tribute and thank the wonderful multidisciplinary healthcare professionals who work so hard to help patient recovery. We now need more services and support commissioned to ensure that care stretches beyond hospital discharge to help people live the best lives they can.

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For the Department of Health and commissioners, there are two useful resources for assessing and providing rehabilitation after discharge from hospital: