To start with, whilst you have been in hospital, the emphasis for your treatment has been on helping you to overcome your acute illness. In time, the emphasis for treatment and care will change to concentrate on your rehabilitation and preparation for home. This may take several weeks but your aim will be to move from dependence to independence.


If possible, you will be assessed while still in hospital to determine whether you are at risk of developing any physical or emotional difficulties after your stay in an ICU. For example, you may be asked about any:

  • physical problems you are having,
  • communication problems you are having,
  • psychological symptoms that you have, such as depression or anxiety.

If you are at risk of experiencing problems during your recovery, you may be set some rehabilitation goals to aim for.

This information will be passed to the team of healthcare professionals who are responsible for your care after you leave the ICU. If necessary, they will use it to develop a rehabilitation programme for you.

As part of your rehabilitation, you may be:

  • provided with any necessary information – for example, about your diet, when you can drive again and when you can return to work,
  • referred to further healthcare professionals – for example, an occupational therapist will be able to help identify problem areas in your everyday life, such as dressing yourself, as well as helping to work out practical solutions.

After you are finally discharged from hospital, it will probably still be some time before you feel you are back to normal.

The Critical Care Team at St Peter's recognise that full recovery from a period in ICU can take a long time and there are several pitfalls that can hinder this process. We would like to identify these times following your discharge from hospital and have set up a system called HowRU to monitor your recovery and enable us to offer help at these crucial and difficult times. Please read the HowRU section to find out more.