CSP in 'right to rehab' call for ICU patients

The CSP has joined partners in calling for the government to fund community rehabilitation for all ICU patients who need it at the launch of the 'Rehab Is Critical' campaign.

Calls for a right to rehab for all ICU patients

The campaign is led by ICUSteps, member of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance that CSP convenes.

This week the campaign published a parliamentary petition asking the government to ensure that all intensive care patients, regardless of admission cause, are provided with comprehensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation.

This will include information, rehabilitation plan, ongoing meetings to assess their needs and access to community rehab including physical, psychological and cognitive support.

The petition has already attracted 5,500 signatories, but needs 10,000 to be considered for debate in Parliament.

CSP CEO Karen Middleton was one of 11 signatories to a Rehab Is Critical letter to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid, launching the petition.

The letter called for an end to patients being left to struggle alone post-discharge. ‘Rehabilitation is inconsistent across the country with many patients left to face these problems alone, without support or information to help them recover. This is not acceptable,’ the letter read.

‘Intensive care may save our lives, but we need support and rehabilitation to give those lives back to us,’ it added.

Recovering from intensive care can take 12-18 months and for some people, life is never the same again, the letter emphasised.

It highlighted the ongoing health issues experienced by many critical care patients post discharge, known as Post Intensive Care Syndrome.

These include severe physical weakness and fatigues, weight loss, breathlessness, difficulty with voice, communication, eating and swallowing, hair loss, anxiety, depression and changes in memory and concentration.

The requirements outlined in the petition will ensure compliance with the recommendations from NICE Clinical Guidelines CG83 Rehabilitation after critical illness in adults, which was published in 2009 but which has not been implemented across the country.

CSP Assistant Director Sara Hazzard said: ‘Rehab is critical to help patients' recovery. It would be inconceivable to deny patients other forms of treatment.

We know patients need access to rehab in hospital and in the community if we want to reduce the revolving hospital door of avoidable and  more expensive care that has devastating human consequences. 

'This is why the CSP is supporting the ICUSteps campaign, and why we initiated the Community Rehabilitation Alliance to call for a step change in rehab provision.'

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