Community rehabilitation for all ICU patients

ICUsteps #RehabIsCritical Campaign

Statement from ICUsteps - 21 April 2021

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

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, Chief Executive ICUsteps 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.

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

ICUsteps Trustee 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.

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.

Please sign the petition and show your support by Tweeting


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