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Conditions and treatments 

 Critical care follow-up clinic

The critical care follow-up service aims to support patients and their relatives following critical illness.

Support for patients and relatives starts in the adult intensive care unit (AICU) and continues in the high-dependency unit (HDU), on the ward, and after discharge from hospital.


While many patients make a good recovery following critical illness, some experience ongoing problems. These can include physical problems such as:

  • weakness
  • joint problems
  • breathlessness
  • pain
  • sexual dysfunction
  • scar problems
  • sleep problems.


Some patients experience psychological problems such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • post-traumatic stress
  • problems with memory, concentration and tasks.


These can impact on:

  • employment and return to work, school or study
  • finances and income
  • personal relationships
  • social interactions.


While many of these issues are identified during or shortly after critical illness, ongoing support after discharge from Royal Brompton Hospital is sometimes required. 


Patients seen in the critical care follow-up clinic are offered a range of support to help with these problems, in conjunction with services available locally to the patient. Sometimes patients and their families just want to talk about their experiences, ask questions about their illness and recovery, and find out more about what happened to them.

We offer support from experts who understand what patients and their families have been through, and provide a point of contact during recovery, which may be many months or, sometimes, even years.


Patients and their relatives will be seen by a critical care consultant and nurse, and may also be seen by a therapist or psychologist depending on their needs.

We also offer patients and their relatives a structured visit back to the AICU, which often helps them come to terms with what happened during the period of critical illness. Further follow-up visits can be scheduled as required.


Where are the clinics held?

Clinics are held around twice a month in Royal Brompton Hospital's Centre for Sleep, near to the main hospital site.

For patients who cannot or do not wish to attend in person, it is sometimes possible to schedule a follow-up telephone discussion with one of the team in the first instance.


Patients being seen in other clinics (eg cardiology, respiratory medicine, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery) may still benefit from coming to the critical care follow-up clinic if they are experiencing any problems.

Further information

ICU Steps is a charity that is run by former intensive care patients, and aims to support patients and relatives affected by critical illness.

The organisation's intensive care guide contains a lot of useful information about recovery from intensive care.


Email: afteraicu@rbht.nhs.uk

Tel: 020 7352 8121 ext 2674

Fax: 020 7351 8521

Intensive care follow-up clinic

c/o Latanya Chamberlain-Smith

Adult intensive care unit

Royal Brompton Hospita

Sydney Street

London SW3 6NP

Royal Brompton

Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121


What our patients say:

“Just seeing where I was and what my family may have seen gave me a greater understanding of their emotions after coming home.”

“My illness has been such a trauma, but feeling that I have a link with Royal Brompton and its staff has helped me to recover.”

“I think it would be highly beneficial for any former patients to receive this service. It was excellent, both for having my questions answered and to meet the fantastic people that helped with my rehabilitation.”