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Families' page

Having a loved one in Intensive Care can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting time for families and friends.It can be difficult to think straight when you feel like your whole life has been turned upside down, often without warning. In this section, we've provided some very general information and advice on things like what to expect when visiting the Intensive Care Unit (for the first time), how to make sure you and your family are kept up to date and how to look after yourself. We've also provided some information and advice on practical issues such as taking time off work and money and legal issues.

Sadly, some patients don't survive their illness.We have also provided what we hope is some useful information and advice on some of the things you need to do if you lose a loved one.We have also provided to some links to organisations who can provide you with emotional support.We are very sorry for your loss.




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Web Link: Making a complaint: Patient Advice and Support Service

This link will take you to the webpage of the Patient Advice and Support Service. They offer free,confidential & independent advice & support for NHS patients in Scotland, and are linked with the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities, and provide practical and emotional support.You can call them free on 0800 917 2127 or chat to someone either online or in person at your nearest Citizens Advice Support. They can  Help you to give feedback...

Web Link: Managing someone else's affairs (Citizens Advice)

When someone is ill in Intensive Care, they may need someone to help with or take over their affairs, including making decisions around their health, legal and financial welfare.This link will take you to the Citizens Advice website. It provides simple, easily understandable information about different ways of managing someone else's affairs, including different types of Power of Attorney. 

Article: Money issues

What if I can't pay the bills? It can be stressful enough, worrying about a family member in Intensive Care, without the added stress of worrying about money and how you're going to pay the bills. This is especially true if your loved usually dealt with money issues, if either of you are self employed or you need to take a lot of time off work in order to visit him or her or to look after children. Can I get access to his or her bank account? You may need access to...

Article: Money worries-help from Edinburgh & Lothian Health Foundation

When you have a loved one in Intensive Care, the last thing you want to be worrying about is money. However, visiting someone in Intensive Care can be really expensive, particularly if your loved one is in Intensive Care or in hospital for some time. Bus fares, parking and eating in the hospital can all add up over time. Did you know that you can apply for up to £200 to help you with these expenses? You can claim for help with accomodation, bus fares, parking and food and drink...

Web Link: Music in Intensive Care

Many Intensive Care Units across the UK are introducing live music onto their Units (called "ICUHear"), in the hope that patients and families find this relaxing.Since the Autumn of 2018, musicians have been performing on the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Infirmary, usually a short session every few weeks. Feedback from patients, family members and staff has been really positive so far, and we're hoping that this will become part of routine care.Here is the link to ICUHear, which was...

Document: My epic journey: a poem by a former patient

This is a touching, insightful and inspiring poem written by Rose about her time in Intensive Care and beyond.She has very kindly given permission for us to include it here. My epic journey; a poem by Rose Fraser Edinburgh Time stood still 27 March 2013 At the Royal Infirmary Another world was dark Not knowing was sad Voices, voices repeated Time will test your desire How much do you want to live? Noises, echoes, echoes Ice-cream, Ice-cream Chocolate,...

Web Link: Parking at the Royal Infirmary

Unfortunately, there is a charge for parking at the Royal Infirmary. This is the link to NHS Lothian's page, where you will find up-to-date information on parking rates. You'll also find information here on drop off and collection areas and disabled parking.

Web Link: Pet therapy

Some Intensive Care Units across the UK are introducing "therapy pets" onto their Units, in the hope that patients (particularly long-term patients) find this relaxing. These are usually specially trained dogs, and their visits are usually short and very carefully organised. In some cases, patients' own dogs might be allowed onto the Unit for a short visit. Please speak with the nurse in charge to find out more. This link will take you to NHS Lothian's page on pet therapy. 

Web Link: Power of Attorney: all you need to know

Are you considering setting up a power of attorney and would like to know how to go about it or would you like to refresh your memory about what the role entails? This link will take you to the mygov.scot website which has all you need to know.

Article: Spiritual care

Members of the Spiritual Care Team are normally available during normal office hours and can be contacted for urgent and out of hours support through an on-call system. They offer confidential, non-judgemental support to patients and families, whatever their beliefs or life situations. If you wouild like to be visited by someone from your own faith or belief group, please let the staff know.