HELP US CARE FOR THE TRAUMA OF ALL IN ICU
In Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the country, workers are coping with a previously unknown disease, in unprecedented numbers. They see colleagues fall ill and face personal danger of infection while, sadly, caring for many who will not survive.
They are used to handling pressure and occasional losses; but right now, this is a relentless battle, day after day and week after week. Many staff have embraced completely new roles and new ways of working, with unfamiliar equipment on the one hand, and a lack of such equipment or drugs on the other. They are working long shifts in full PPE. And while the current surge in cases will plateau and reduce, we know that we will be treating COVID-19 patients for many months - and likely years - to come.
Even the most experienced amongst the ICU team have never faced such personal and professional pressures before. Yet each has risen to the challenge and still comes back into work, day or night.
But COVID-19 is taking its personal toll on our doctors, nurses, , physiotherapists, therapists, dietitians, pharmacists and more. The price of commitment is already being paid in lost sleep, and anxiety. We can expect more to be affected, and more severely.
As the NHS ‘re-boots’, ICU patients will not just be COVID-19 patients. The numbers we care for will go up, not down. The need is clear: to provide our ICU professionals with the technical and emotional support they need to continue fighting for those we know and love.
Money raised for the NHS is distributed to local trusts. We hope that some of this will be allocated to ICUs. However, the Intensive Care Society - a UK Charity- is unique in looking after the interests of all our intensive care professionals, wherever they work. We identify and share best ICU practice. We develop protocols of patient care. We teach and train. And we are working hard to support the wellbeing of our staff, ensuring that each gets the support they need, where and when they need it.
The money raised through this campaign will be used in three ways:
- To develop an efficient process through which staff can access tailored support
- To deliver this support through personal counselling, group sessions and on-line resources
- To understand the need for support through our network of ICUs across the UK
We expect that almost all the 30,000 professionals currently working within Intensive Care will require some level of support- whether as training in how to best treat COVID-19, or accessing group sessions so that each professional feels less isolated, or one to one counselling over many months.
The task is urgent and requires the support and generosity of each of us to look after those who already have, or one day may, look after us and those we love.
Please help us now.
Dr Stephen Webb