Royal Brompton team reunited with intensive care patients

Royal Brompton’s Adult Intensive Care Unit (AICU) team organised two virtual patient days for critical care patients, and their family members, to ‘revisit’ the hospital and speak to staff who cared for them. Usually held in-person, this year the days were moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patients who had previously been admitted to AICU for surgery or Covid-19 were invited to the virtual events, along with their family members, to find out how staff cared for them, ask questions about their time in the unit and the treatment they received, and ‘meet’ other people who have also spent time in critical care.

The events included presentations from hospital consultants and nurses on what it is like to work in an AICU, and patients and families were invited to share their experience of either being on the unit or how it felt to have a loved one in AICU in the middle of a global pandemic. The day included a virtual tour of the unit as many patients had little to no memory of their stay in the hospital.

There were Q&A sessions throughout the day and feedback from patients was excellent:

“Thank you so much for organising the day, I appreciate it. Must have taken a lot of work, but it meant so much to me as a patient to know we are not forgotten when we leave hospital. Thank you again.”

“The day was great and really helped with the trauma l went through. Even though l was unconscious most of time l knew l was being loved and well cared for. l could not explain it, but this day and my Diary totally proved it. Thank you.”

“I came away feeling very fortunate having been cared for by such a professional caring team in ICU.”

Jo Tillman, senior nurse and AICU matron, said: “We are very pleased to offer these patient days. It is an important step in the road to recovery for many patients, as it can help them gain a sense of closure. Staff get a lot out of it too. It’s really humbling, to see how people have survived and the progress they have made.

 “The day also provides former patients, their relatives and healthcare professionals the opportunity to discuss any ways we could improve our service for people who come into critical care in the future. It gives patients the chance to reconnect with the intensive care team and make links with others who have been in the same situation.”