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The hospital wards

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected UK hospitals in many different ways.Some Units have been quieter, and have been able to keep their patients in Intensive Care as long as they normally would. Others will have been exceptionally busy, and may have had no option but to transfer their most recovered patients to the hospital wards a little more quickly than normal. The wards will also vary greatly in terms of how much rehabilitation and follow-up they are able to offer. 

In this section, we've provided some general information and advice on common physical and psychological issues issues during the ward stage of recovery, the types of staff involved in your care (who they are and what they do) and what to expect in terms of getting you home. We've also included sections on other people's experiences and frequently asked questions. We hope you find it helpful.


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Article: Coping with transfer to the ward

It's not always easy or even possible to prepare patients for transfer out of Intensive Care and onto the general wards.Intensive Care beds are in great demand and it's often impossible to predict when a bed might be needed for someone else.Although we try to avoid it as best we can, this sometimes means that patients are transferred out with little warning. From one to one care to "one of many" Patients often tell us that transfer to the wards can be a bit of...

Web Link: Deep breathing & clearing your lungs

This link will take you to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals' excellent online resource on recovery after COVID-19. This section includes short videos from healthcare professionals on deep breathing exercise and other techniques that will help you to clear your lungs. You can visit the full resource here

Web Link: Eating well during recovery

Many patients lose weight during their time in Intensive Care, despite our best efforts to support nutrition using tubes (a nasogastric or NG tube) or drips providing liquid feed (called Total Parenteral Nutrition or TPN). This is particularly the case for patients who have spent slightly longer in ICU, and some patients also experience taste changes, with food tasting bland, salty or metallic.This link will take you to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals' excellent online resource on...

Article: Eating: what can I do to help?

Common problems with eating after Intensive Care Patients often lose weight during their time in Intensive Care. Patients who spend a long time in Intensive Care can lose a lot of weight, sometimes up to 20% of their weight from when they were first admitted. There are a number of problems with eating which are common after Intensive Care. They include things like poor appetite, food not tasting quite as it should (with either a metallic or salty taste), feeling full quickly and...

Web Link: England: visiting hospitals during COVID-19

This link will take you to NHS England's current guidance on visiting hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.Included is guidance on who can visit, guidance on social distancing, handwashing and the use of face coverings. **Please check with our local hospital, as guidance may change as the pandemic evolves.**

Web Link: Exercises to keep you mobile

People who spend time in Intensive Care often experience tiredness (fatigue), muscle wasting and joint stiffness. This is particularly so for patients who have spent longer in ICU. This link will take you to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals' excellent online resource on recovery after COVID-19. This section includes a short video from a physiotherapist, and some short videos of simple exercises that you can do in bed, while sitting in a chair, and standing. You can access the full resource...

Web Link: Fatigue (tiredness) after COVID-19

Fatigue (tiredness) is a normal part of the body’s response to fighting a viral infection such as COVID-19 (sometimes called post-viral fatigue). It's also very comon after any serious or critical illness, and may last for some time. You may find that you sleep more, are perhaps a little shaky on your feet, and that your concentration and memory are affected. This link will take you to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists' expert guidance on managing fatigue while...

External Video: Fatigue (tiredness): how "pacing" can help

Video length: 06:32 (Watch now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to watch later) This short clip will explain how the technique of pacing may be used to manage any fatigue (tiredness) that you may be experiencing.

External Video: George's experience of ward care

In this video, George talks about his experiences of care on the wards after Intensive Care. He also talks about his experiences of discharge planning.