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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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Web Link: Healthtalkonline - families' experiences of Intensive Care

This link will take you to the Healthtalk.org website. You can hear about other family members' and close friends' experiences of having a loved one in Intensive Care. There are short videos, voice recordings and written interviews, which we hope you find useful.

Article: Hospital discharge letter

What is a hospital discharge letter? A hospital discharge letter is a brief medical summary of your hospital admission and the treatment you received whilst in hospital.It is usually written by one of the ward doctors. The Intensive Care doctors will usually write a separate letter to your GP, telling them about how and why you ended up in Intensive Care and your treatment while you were there.You won't normally receive a copy of this, however. What if I don't...

Web Link: Hospital discharge planning-what to expect

Patients should be fully involved in planning for going home and should be kept informed of any changes. Each hospital has its own policy and arrangements for discharging patients. Nevertheless, there are often standards of care and information that must be met for patients and their family members. Going gome from hospital can, and often does, involve a number of different health and social care professionals, and it’s a good idea to know who is involved in arranging your discharge...

Article: How can I find out more about what happened in Intensive Care?

How can I find out more about what happened in Intensive Care? It can depend on the type and level of information you’re looking for. Some people are more comfortable with a basic understanding, whereas others prefer to have a more detailed medical explanation. It’s completely up to you. You may find that the type of information you would like changes as you recover. Here are some things you can do that might help. Ask your family and friends They will be able...

Article: ICU follow up services (outreach or liaison)

What is Intensive Care follow up? Follow up basically involves Intensive Care staff seeing patients after they've been transferred to the general wards or, more commonly, at an out-patient clinic after they've gone home.Follow up is also sometimes known as "outreach". Do all Intensive Care Units follow up their patients? **No. Some Intensive Care Units have staff who are able see patients after Intensive Care and some don't**.If the Intensive Care Unit is...

External Video: ICU support after transfer to the wards

In this video, Trish talks about her role as an ICU Liaison Nurse at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Article: Joint stiffness and pain

Patients sometimes suffer from stiff and painful joints after Intensive Care, particularly in the ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders.This can make it difficult to do simple things like getting out of bed, walking around the ward or washing and showering. Why do I have joint stiffness or pain? Patients who have spent longer in Intensive Care seem to be at greater risk of developing joint stiffness and pain. Joint stiffness and pain can be due to several things but is most...

External Video: Louise and her recovery from Swine flu

Video length: 22:33 (Watch now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to watch later) In this video clip, Louise talks about her experiences of being critically ill with Swine flu. Five years on, she talks about the processes of getting better and getting on with her life. You can read interviews,listen to voice recordings and watch clips of other patients' experiences of Intensive Care by using the link to Healthtalkonline.

External Video: Managing your physical symptoms using pacing

Video length: 02:16 (Watch now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to watch later) This short clip will explain what 'pacing' is and how it can be used to manage some of your physical symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and pain.

Article: Medication

Article length: 4 minutes (Read now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to read later) Will I go home on the same medication? You may find that you go home with more or sometimes less medication than you were taking before.It is not unusual for some of your normal medications to be stopped or to have new ones started. How can I find out more about any new medications? Ask your nurse, doctor or the ward pharmacist to explain what your new medications...