With a surge in the numbers of patients critically ill with COVID-19, the need for support for patients who have left the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has never been greater and our Critical Care Outreach Team are working flat out.
The Critical Care Team usually run face-to-face ICU follow-up clinics but with these currently on hold the team were worried these patients could feel unsupported. So they decided to start telephoning patients once they were discharged from ICU to explain what had happened to them, talk through any concerns and answer questions.
Sister Lisa Jones explains: “Patients were struggling to come to terms with what had happened. For many, their last memory was getting into an ambulance. Most patients had experienced nightmares and hallucinations and they had not seen their family or friends for weeks. The whole experience must have been frightening”.
The feedback has been very positive with one patient saying, “These follow-up calls show that the NHS do care. The service you provide is amazing and you have saved my life”. Another ICU patient said, “I feel lucky to be alive.”
Charge Nurse Richard Armitage, explained, “Starting this service during such an uncertain time has been a challenging yet incredibly rewarding experience. I am humbled to hear the feedback from patients. It makes me proud to work for CHFT”. Sister Maria Toshack went on to say, “It’s been a heart-warming experience to be able to support patients during these unprecedented times”.