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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: Medicines explained

This link will take you to an NHS page explaining how 100s of different medications work, what they're for, how to take them and possible side-effects. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful. 

Article: Mobility issues (walking)

Once you are transferred to the general ward and are beginning to become more active, you may be surprised to notice that you are perhaps not quite as able to do the things you thought you would. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that you are still in the very early stages of recovering from a serious illness, an operation or an accident. Tiredness and general weakness are extremely common, even if you only spent a short time in Intensive Care or were previously fit and...

Web Link: Money issues & COVID-19: the Money Advice Service

This link will take you to the UK Money Advice Service website and their advice on a range of money issues during the pandemic.There's a wealth of information to help you find out wht kind of financial support you're entitled to, the furlough scheme, managing debt, managing your bills (include rent and mortgage payments), borrowing and bereavement support. There are also some helpful tools to help you manage your budget, and you can contact one of their trained financial advisers...

Web Link: Money matters: advice with money worries

This weblink will take you to the Money Matters website.They offer a wealth of advice on a wide range of issues related to benefits, allowances and sources of financial support. They also provide some really useful tools on managing your money in different situations e.g. remorgaging or early retirement.

Article: Muscle wasting and weakness

Why do you get muscle wasting? In the early stages of your illness, you may have been unconscious, and needed help from a breathing machine (or ventilator) for your breathing. During this time, you will have been unable to use the muscles in your arms and legs, and to move your joints yourself. We know from research (where pictures have been taken of the patients' muscles) that these muscles reduce in size, or waste, when they are not being used. This can happen quite...

Web Link: NHS Videos: Intensive Care and recovery

This link will take you to the NHS video library on Intensive Care. There is a range of short videos on many aspects of ICU and recovery. Topics include: The Critical (or Intensive) Care Unit Children, families & Critical (or Intensive) Care Step down to the ward Physical recovery Common psychological problems Hallucinations Nightmares, dreams & poor sleep Stress & anxiety PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Memory loss Going home Research

Article: Not remembering what happened to you

Once patients are transferred to the wards, they often "come to" and have to begin to make sense of what's happened to them. Not remembering (amnesia) how you ended up in Intensive Care and what happened while you were there is extremely common. Patients sometimes "lose" the few days before ending up in Intensive Care, even though they were comparatively well at that time. Not remembering is likely to be a combination of how ill you were, the nature of your...

Article: Nurses

On each ward there are experienced nurses who are responsible for the safe running of the ward you are staying on. A team of trained nurses and healthcare support workers will also care for you during your hospital stay and one named nurse will be responsible for planning and co-ordinating your care. She / he will hand over your care when off duty to another trained nurse. The Charge Nurses have overall responsibility for the wards or areas and welcome comments on the care you are...

External Video: Nutritional advice

In this video, Judith talks about her role as a dietitian in Intensive Care. She talks about the nutritional issues patients commonly face after Intensive Care, and offers some advice for patients and family members to help the recovery process along.

Article: Occupational Therapist

Article length: 4 minutes (Read now or tap the button above to add this resource to your personal library to read later) What does an Occupational Therapist do? The Occupational Therapist (or OT) works very closely with the other members of ward staff to make sure that you will be able to look after yourself when you go home. This might include assessments to see if you are able to do everyday things like washing and dressing,cooking, housework and shopping.They will also help...