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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Ex-Intensive Care patients invited to support meeting

Ex-Intensive Care patients invited to support meeting

Posted on Wednesday 12th October 2016
Ex-Intensive Care patients invited to support meeting

A small group of nursing staff who work on Intensive Care at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, have set up a support meeting for any patients who have previously been cared for in the Intensive care unit, and their families, on Friday 25 November from 2.00-4.00pm in Currock Community Centre.

The meeting is to acknowledge that critical care is no longer just about survival, and that the physical and psychological recovery of the patient needs to be of concern. It will act as a support mechanism to those who have used the service and their loved ones. Similar sessions have proven successful in Whitehaven and are now being introduced in Carlisle.

Isabel Dawes, Sister for the Intensive Care Unit in Carlisle, said: “ITU can be a very stressful environment to be in, there is always a lot of noise and of course the patients on the unit are very unwell. The combination of these factors and many more can result in a patient feeling isolated and confused when they are discharged and life after discharge can become difficult to cope with.”

Trainee assistant practitioner, Rebecca Walton added “It is hoped that the meeting will be informal and provide a great platform for past patients and their relatives alike, to discuss their experiences and meet with people who have been in a similar situation. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for patients to meet with some of the staff on the unit, which can be helpful for many. We would encourage any past patients and/or relatives who have found the ITU stay difficult to deal with, or to come to terms with, to attend the drop in. We hope the meetings will become a regular thing and plan to hold them every six weeks.”

Invitations have been sent out to patients that have been on the unit for over 72 hours, within the past 12 months, but any past patient is welcome to join the meeting. Tea and coffee will be provided for those who attend.

Other trusts in the country already run these well-established support groups known as ICU Steps - as this is the name of the charity who encourages hospitals to arrange and run support groups. The ICU steps website provides further information on support groups and has a lot of different information and support for patients and relatives to access.

For more information about the meetings, call Rebecca Walton or Isabel Dawes, ITU, on 01228 814114.