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The hospital wards

Being transferred to the hospital ward can be a real mixed bag of emotions for patients and families. While ward transfer is a sign of improvement and a step closer to going home, patients and families have to adjust to less monitoring and having fewer staff at close hand. 

Some patients "come to" on the wards, and have to begin to try to make sense of what has happened to them. Common psychological issues include strange dreams, problems sleeping or feeling anxious or low. Patients also become more aware of physical issues such as general weakness, tiredness, mobility problems, etc as they begin to do more for themselves.

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: A family member's story

This link will take you to the webpage of NHS South Tees, and to Diane Bousfield's experiences of caring for her husband Tony. Tony spent many months in ICU, with a complex neurological (brain) illness. Diane has written a series of detailed and compelling poems and books about her experiences. She has very kindly given permission for them to be shared here.

Web Link: Age Scotland (advice for carers)

This link will take you to the Age Scotland website.They provide a fantastic range of information and advice on many different issues such as housing, legal issues, saving money on your energy bills, eating well and common health conditions. Much of this is available in free leaflets that you can download or print off. Part of their services include an Information and Advice team. Their staff and volunteers specialise in answering enquiries from older people, their carers and...

Web Link: Alcohol and recovery: where to get help

Alcohol is a major health issue in Scotland. Research has shown that around a quarter of admissions to Intensive Care are alcohol-related.If you're worried about how much you, or a person you care about drinks, there is plenty of help available. This link will take you to the website of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol. They offer information, advice, a helpline and local support groups for individuals and their family members.

Web Link: Alcohol Liaison Nurses

Alcohol is a major health issue in Scotland. Research has shown that around a quarter of admissions to Intensive Care are alcohol-related.If you're worried about how much you, or a person you care about drinks, there is plenty of help available. Ask the nurses or doctors if you can speak to the Alcohol Liaison service.They offer information and advice, and can help with short-term withdrawal, if needed.This link will take you to Edinburgh City's website and their page on the...

Web Link: A-Z of health conditions

Many people who come into Intensive Care have pre-existing health conditions. Part of your recovery will likely include understanding and dealing with those conditions too. This link will take you to an NHS page with information on 100's of conditions, symptoms and treatments. It's not exhaustive, but we hope you find it helpful.

Web Link: Bereavement support for children

We're very sorry for your loss. This link will take you to the website of childbereavement uk. They are a UK-wide organisation who can help support families with children and young adults, when there is a death in the family. They provide a free confidential Helpline, staffed by trained professionals, face-to-face support (in some areas), and helpful leaflets that you can download or print off. Please see their website to find out more.

Web Link: Blog from an ICU survivor (Louise)

This link will take you to Louise's blog site, which she regularly updates. Louise was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth in November, 2018. She spent 13 days in the Intensive Care Unit, due to a perforated oesophagus (gullet) and another 71 days in hospital before being discharged home to her family. Louise writes in a very authentic and compassionate way about her experiences of having ICU delirium (strange or distressing dreams or hallucinations)...

External Video: Bob describes his experience on the ward

In this video clip, Bob (a former Intensive Care patient) talks about his recovery on the general wards, after being transferred out of Intensive Care.

Article: Breathlessness

Is it common to feel breathless after Intensive Care? Breathlessness after Intensive Care is very common. Why do I feel breathless? The time you spent in Intensive Care may have caused weakness in your muscles, including those that help you breathe, so they are a bit weaker and have to work a bit harder to help with your breathing. Also while in Intensive Care you can quickly lose your ability to exercise, so while running for a bus may have made you breathless before, after...

Document: Breathlessness-breathing exercises

This booklet outlines some of the breathing techniques that can be used to help breathlessness. Try out the different approaches. Controlled breathing can be particularly useful if you are feeling very breathless.