Former Walsall critical care patients who have been meeting with staff via a virtual forum are looking forward to a face to face festive get together next week – their first since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organised by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Critical Care Rehabilitation Team, the Christmas Meet and Mingle has been set for Thursday 8 December.
The team has supported hundreds of patients who have had a period in critical care on their recovery journey and cover both physical and psychological support. The virtual forum was established back in May 2021 for patients and staff alike to share their experiences and help enhance practice at the Trust
Xana Marriott, Senior Sister for Critical Care Rehabilitation, said: “The forum has been a really successful way for us to continue to engage with patients, share experiences and show our support along their recovery journey.
“We have had some emotional sessions – laughing and crying together – and appreciating that a period in critical care affects different patients in different ways. The psychological effects can be challenging and difficult to deal with, but we work with patients and their families to work holistically as one committed team to support them.”
Amy Bonner, lead Physiotherapist for ICU Rehabilitation, said: “Our team is made up of healthcare professionals who can focus on the different aspects to recovery so that we can collectively achieve the best possible outcomes after a significant event. The forums have also been invaluable for patients at the start of their recovery to see others who have been where they are and the progress they have made; this is extremely motivational.”
The forum has, understandably, supported many COVID-19 survivors but is open to anyone who has had a significant stay in critical care.
Donna Botfield, ICU Rehabilitation Sister, added: “We can’t wait to get together face to face for our Christmas Meet and Mingle. It will be a celebration of our patients’ achievements, a thank you to their families and carers and so rewarding for staff to catch up with many people they have formerly cared for.
The evening will involve tea, coffee, biscuits and cake and two patients and their relatives will also speak about their ICU recovery and journey.