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At the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Council (ICNARC) annual event on 20th April individuals representing four Trusts were prized in recognition of the high standards of Data Quality which  they provide.  

John Lewandowski from the University Hospital of North Tees was recognised alongside Cameron Ingram from St James’,  Stephen Davies and Rob Keeling from Liverpool Heart and Chest and Sophie Mason from Warwick. 


Senior Staff Nurse Leadership Project Presentation


Congratulations to Sophia Hudson, Emma Wilkinson and Ellen Welford from South Tees  who won the improvement project presentation with their Mouthcare project.

Many thanks to Sue Blackburn, Education Lead, QE Gateshead  for her help with the judging of the projects.

Patient Diary Launch - North Tees 

The group involved include staff nurses Lorraine Reidy and Jackie Fletcher, ward matron Sonya Wilkinson, organisation development practitioner Louise Samuel and Julie Platten from the North of England Critical Care Network.

Below are the main points about the diary:

  • Patients who are on a ventilator in intensive care spend a lot of time heavily sedated. This leads to a state of confusion where dreams and delusions are intertwined with reality this results in patients often struggling to tell them apart.
  • A critical care admission can induce considerable psychological and physical distress for patients.  All of these experiences impact on the patient’s recovery from critical illness which can be a complex and protracted process.
  • Guidance was issued from NICE, CG83 (2009) ‘Rehabilitation after Critical illness’ with the sole purpose of highlighting the need for rehabilitation of critically ill patients.
  • Part of this rehabilitation is trying to provide them with an insight into the missing time they have experienced whilst being sedated, as it has been shown that this lack of memory can delay their recovery. Patient diaries have been shown to be an effective way to provide this information.
  • Staff and relatives will make brief notes about key events including those happening in the Critical Care unit but also those happening in the outside world.
  • The diary is a way of helping patients to understand what has happened to them whilst they have been in critical care.
  • This diary can also help relatives and friends. It can allow them something to focus on and express their feelings. It may also help them feel that they are contributing towards the patients recovery and rehabilitation.

 ICUsteps Tees is a support group for former intensive care patients, their families and friends run by former intensive care patients, relatives and health professionals. It was developed to provide on-going support after discharge for patients and relatives who have encountered critical illness.

CQC’s rated QE Critical Care Team as outstanding

Further good news to come from the CQC’s recent report is that the QE Critical Care department is rated as‘outstanding’.

The unit provides intensive care (treatment and monitoring) for people who are critically ill. At the QE Hospital, it is combined with the high dependency unit and together they are known as the critical care department. QE Gateshead is one of only three hospitals in north east England that has a consultant from respiratory medicine and anaesthetics as part of the consultant group in Critical Care.

The CQC report said: "Staff respected patients’ privacy and dignity and treated them with understanding and compassion. Patients and relatives spoke highly about the care they had received. Services were planned and delivered in a way that met the needs of the local population. The importance of flexibility, choice and continuity of care was reflected in the services."

"Critical care services were well led. A critical care strategy document outlined the services vision. Staff spoke positively about the culture and the service they provided for patients. Quality and good patient experience and care were seen as a priority and everyone’s responsibility. There was a strong cohesive team approach and a low number of complaints."

"The Rehabilitation after Critical Illness Team (RaCI) led by nurses, healthcare assistants and physiotherapists had developed new pathways to help patients recover from critical illness. The team provide rehabilitation while a patient was in the critical care unit, throughout their stay and following discharge. Care and support was given to the patient where families and patient diaries were used to support patients' recovery. Patients' relatives, nurses and doctors, completed these diaries plus physiotherapists and anyone involved in the patients care. Information helped patients understand their stay in the critical care department

and to fill the gap in their memories of their time in hospital."

Rachel Lonsdale, Service Line Manager for Critical Care, said: "Each member of the Critical Care team plays an important part in the delivery of outstanding care to our patients and we are all proud to have received this rating from the CQC. It is testament to the dedication and hard work displayed every day by the staff who work to support patients and their families through what can be a very difficult time for them.

This excellent feedback from the CQC acknowledges the high quality care that patients receive when they are cared for in the QE’s Critical Care department."


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Nursing Times Nomination Awards 2016

Helping People Overcome the Complications Associated with Critical Illness

Gateshead Health Foundation Trust

Congratulations and Good Luck!!!

Nurse Practitioner Suzie Lawley and the Critical Care Rehabilitation Team are nominated for an award for their work in Emergency and Critical Care. The team works to reduce the effects of complications associated with critical illness and improve the experiences of patients.

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