Local support groups
Given the additional risk to those recovering from critical care at this difficult time, ICUsteps recommends that support group events be suspended for the time-being to minimise potential exposure to the virus. We urge those seeking support to use our HealthUnlocked online community.
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.
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.