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Families' page

Having a loved one in Intensive Care can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting time for families and friends.It can be difficult to think straight when you feel like your whole life has been turned upside down, often without warning. In this section, we've provided some very general information and advice on things like what to expect when visiting the Intensive Care Unit (for the first time), how to make sure you and your family are kept up to date and how to look after yourself. We've also provided some information and advice on practical issues such as taking time off work and money and legal issues.

Sadly, some patients don't survive their illness.We have also provided what we hope is some useful information and advice on some of the things you need to do if you lose a loved one.We have also provided to some links to organisations who can provide you with emotional support.We are very sorry for your loss.




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Web Link: A family member's story

This link will take you to the webpage of NHS South Tees with case studies on peoples iCU experiences.

Web Link: Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland)

The Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland, 2000) is concerned with safeguarding the welfare and managing the finances of those who are unable to do so for themselves. It applies to Intensive Care patients who are too ill or otherwise unable (if they are sedated, confused or unconscious, for example) to make their own decisions. This link will take you to the legislation.gov.uk website that will give you further information on the act and what it means for you and your loved one.

Web Link: Anticipatory care-planning ahead

This link will take you to Healthcare Improvement Scotland's webpages on "anticipatory care". Anticipatory Care Planning is a "thinking ahead" approach in which healthcare professionals work together with patients and their families (or carers) to make sure that care is coordinated. It can be really helpful for people who have complicated care needs. You can print off a booklet from the website, or download a free app. There are some short videos of...

Article: Bereavement support

Bereavement support at the Royal Infirmary

Web Link: Childcare: help with costs

This link will take you to the Government's webpage on childcare and parenting. It offers useful advice on whether and how you can get help with finding childcare if you need to spend time at the hospital.

Web Link: Children and teenagers:where to get support

This weblink takes you to the Winston's wish website; a charity offering advice and support for children and teenagers when someone close is seriously ill or has died. They have produced a number of booklets which can be purchased online. Contact details for a telephone helpline for parents and an email address are also provided.

Web Link: Children visiting Intensive Care

This link will take you to the Healthtalkonline website and their page on children visiting the Intensive Care Unit, and the impact that having a family member in Intensive Care can have on them.Here, you can watch short videos on other people's experiences of things like telling children about a loved one's illness and taking them into the Intensive Care Unit.

Web Link: Children: a website to support them through a loved one's illness or death

It can be very difficult to know how to tell children and teenagers that a family member is very ill or has died. This link takes you to Winston's wish, a charity supporting bereaved children and young people. It's a very interactive website which includes short videos, podcasts and a blog on other chidrens' experiences.

Web Link: Children: how to tell them that someone is very ill or has died

It can be very difficult to know how to tell children and teenagers that a family member is very ill or has died. This link takes you to Winston's wish, a charity supporting bereaved children, teenagers and their families. They are based in England, but offer a national phoneline for support and resources that you can download (although you may have to pay for some of them).

Web Link: Counselling (Life & Soul)

Life & Soul counselling is a free service, based at the Wellness Centre on Bridge Road in Balerno. Their counsellors are all trained to national standards.It's open to anyone and you can self refer. Please call the Wellness Centre on 0131 451 5226 or you can email them at lifeandsoul@stmungos.org