A team from Royal Cornwall Hospital have helped create a new information gateway to support people transition out of critical care.

Dr William English, a Critical Care Consultant, and Sarah Bean, a Critical Care Research Nurse, recognised the need for greater support for patients recovering from serious illness during their follow-up clinics.

To help, they created a collection of short films containing guidance and advice on recovery from serious illness.

The project is about trying to increase awareness and understanding about the challenges that our patients face in their often long and protracted recovery from critical illness.

Dr William English, Critical Care Consultant, RCHT
Dr William English, Critical Care Consultant and Sarah Bean, Critical Care Research Nurse speaking to ITV West Country. Credit: ITV News

The Critical Care Information Gateway is now available for patients and their relatives to access.

In total there are 14 films covering topics such as hallucinations, stress and anxiety, stepping down to a ward, memory loss and physical recovery.

Dr William English, Critical Care Consultant at RCHT. Credit: ITV News

Dr English says there is a lot of common ground between any long stay patient and a Covid-19 patient, so launching the service now is more important than ever.

He added that, "another challenge is these patients are quite isolated, because unfortunately we’re not allowed to let their relatives come in so we want to be able to help the relatives understand what’s been going on in hospital so they can help their loved one piece together what their experience has been."

We’ve had a number of patients who have had Covid-19 that have needed to be on breathing machines for extended periods of time and I think that presents challenges in its own right.

Dr William English, Critical Care Consultant, RCHT
Sarah Bean, Critical Care Research Nurse at RCHT. Credit: ITV News

Sarah Bean says common topics kept cropping up again and again with conversations with critical care survivors.

Now the emphasis isn’t just on surviving a critical care stay it’s about quality of life afterwards.

Sarah Bean, Critical Care Research Nurse, RCHT
The films cover topics such as hallucinations, stress and anxiety, stepping down to a ward, memory loss and physical recovery. Credit: Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

The project was funded by donations from a number of patients treated at The Royal Cornwall Hospital, The Critical Care Unit Fund of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, a Health Education England Innovation grant, The Duchy Hospital Charity, The Friends of Royal Cornwall Hospital and The Research and Development department at RCHT.

The information gateway can be accessed here: http://healthcarevideos.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/criticalcare