ICUsteps Rehab Is Critical campaign

21 April 2021

ICUsteps launches the #RehabIsCritical Campaign to demand improved services for intensive care patients after leaving hospital.

On Wednesday 21st April 2021, on National ICU Rehabilitation Day, ICUsteps will launch a community rehabilitation campaign #RehabIsCritical to demand improved care for intensive care patients when they leave hospital.

Many intensive care patients do not receive the support they need once they are discharged from hospital.  Intensive care treatment saves lives, but we urgently need better provision in place to rebuild those lives once people are home.

Leading intensive care patient and relative support charity ICUsteps has joined with organisations who represent those who care for intensive care patients, including the Intensive Care Society, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, to publish a statement on 21.4.21 urging Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to take action now and establish the community rehabilitation services that patients desperately need. A British Medical Journal editorial has been published highlighting that many patients are not receiving the support they need after discharge from hospital.

ICUsteps are urging people to sign the Parliamentary petition

Peter Gibb, Chief Executive ICUsteps and former intensive care patient says:
‘At ICUsteps, we have first hand experience of intensive care – either as a patient, relative or as an intensive care healthcare professional. We know that people can feel broken after a critical illness. Surviving and returning home is only the first step in a very long recovery period. People can still be very ill, they can feel scared and isolated, and sometimes it feels like there is not one area of their lives that has not been changed by their experience. People must have specialist rehabilitation to make sure they achieve the best recovery they can.’

ICUsteps Trustee Dr Kate Regan, Consultant Anaesthetist, says:

‘Recovering from intensive care can take 12-18 months. Many patients experience Post Intensive Care Syndrome, such as severe physical weakness and fatigue, weight loss, breathlessness, difficulty eating and swallowing, hair loss, changes in memory and concentration, anxiety, sleeplessness and depression. Patients must be assessed, have information about what can help their recovery and have access to community services, including multi-disciplinary physical, psychological and cognitive support if needed.’

For more information about the campaign, contact