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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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Article: Keeping up to date

Who can I ask about my loved one's condition? The nurse who is looking after your family member will have a very clear understanding of your loved one's condition. She/he will be able to explain things to you in easily understandable language and will be happy to answer any questions you might have. We do understand that visiting a loved one in Intensive Care can be very upsetting and that it can sometimes be difficult to remember what you've been told.Please...

Article: Looking after yourself

Having a loved one in Intensive Care can be emotionally and physically exhausting. It can be all too easy to forget to take care of yourself. Try to remember, though, that you will need all your strength to help look after your loved one when he/she gets out of hospital. Try to keep to as normal a routine as you can It's completely understandable to feel that you want to "be there", to stay as close to your loved one as possible, either at their bedside, in the...

Web Link: Making a complaint (NHS Lothian)

Sadly, sometimes patients and their family members can feel let down by the quality of the care they have received. Patients and family members have the right to have their complaints heard and an explanation provided as to why the quality of care may have not been of sufficient standard. This link gives guidance on how to raise a complaint with any of the services provided by the NHS in Lothian.

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,...