Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

New patient and family focussed website to support recovery after intensive care now live.

Supporting patients and families after hospital discharge following critical illness: implementation and evaluation of a novel e-health resource.

NHS Lothian

Run by NHS Lothian. An e-health innovation for patients discharged from general intensive care units within Lothian. Aiming to improve recovery from critical illness and support self-management following hospital discharge. Will test, develop and evaluate an e-health innovation that provides patients and families with information, advice, peer and professional support, and strategies for supported self-management after hospital discharge.

Over 200,000 patients are admitted annually to an intensive care unit (ICU) in the UK, of whom approximately 80% survive. Survival following critical illness is associated, however, with significant physical and psychosocial problems. Few acute hospitals provide post-discharge support and GPs often have limited knowledge and referral pathways for common issues. Developing interventions to support recovery has been identified as a national priority, but there is little available evidence for their content, timing, duration or long-term benefits.

Compelted research

Our completed research suggests that interventions that support patients and families both within the acute hospital and following hospital discharge acute are required. We have therefore developed an innovative web-based resource which we will integrate into an existing multidisciplinary ICU rehabilitation/follow-up service in NHS Lothian.

Our resource was informed by over 120 interviews with patients and family members. It provides patients and families with meaningful information, advice and support for self-management (using a range of media), access to healthcare professionals, and access to peer support via a chat room and forum.

Going forward

We will refine and test our intervention in “real time” with patients and families treated at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, before roll out elsewhere across the region and potentially, the NHS. We will evaluate our intervention using a range of measures including: healthcare resource use (including hospital readmission and referral rates), health-related quality of life and satisfaction. We will also conduct interviews with patients, families and healthcare professionals across the acute hospital and primary care settings.

For further information please contact

Dr Pam Ramsay