St Helens and Knowsley Teaching HospitalsNHS Trust


Intensive Care Rehabilitation

Dr Christina Jones

Nurse Consultant Critical Care Follow-up.

BSc, MPhil, PhD, PG Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Honorary Lecturer, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Liverpool.

Qualified: University Cape Town 1986 & PhD (Liverpool).

International research reputation in the rehabilitation of the physical and psychological problems after intensive care.



How the Follow-up and Rehabilitation service got started

In 1990 funding for research into patient’s recovery from critical illness in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was used to set up the first dedicated outpatient clinic for ICU patients in the UK.

Since 1990 various research projects have been undertaken. The main aims of the present research are to examine the factors influencing psychological recovery and the incidence of cognitive problems following critical illness.
The information gained through the follow-up service has resulted in a book about looking after patients recovering from critical illness. It has been very successful and sold all over the world.


What does our service offer?

Our main aim is to make the patient’s physical and psychological recovery from their intensive care illness as smooth as possible. It starts within ICU with physical mobilisation but it is recognised that critical illness places not only physiological stress on the body but also severe psychological stress on patients, their families and close friends. Being critically ill is a major life event and is inevitably going to have a big impact on all involved, particularly the patient. 


In hospital and at home

Starting within ICU we try and address physical and psychological stress and support the recovery afterwards on the wards. Once you have gone home we also see all patients with an ICU stay of 5 days and over in the ICU rehab outpatient clinic at about 2-3 months after their ICU discharge.



Psychological support and formal counselling is offered, both in hospital and after discharge to help patients’ come to terms with their experiences of ICU and the changes that may have happened in their lives.

Over 2006-2007 the Critical Care Counselling service for bereaved families and patients recovering from critical illness ran a benchmarking audit against another service in the Trust and one in the PCT.

This benchmarking exercise showed that the critical care service was seeing patients and relatives with severe psychological symptoms. The level of these symptoms were more severe than either those attending the other counselling service in the Trust and those attending the PCT service. The majority of clients (99%) reported feeling much better by the end of their counselling.

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