Research project supports intensive care patients’ recovery

Ground-breaking website to be rolled out across Scotland

Date posted

7 September 2016


Last updated

19 March 2020

An innovative website has been developed by an Edinburgh Napier researcher to support patients recovering from critical illness.

Dr Pam Ramsay led the development of following interviews with intensive care patients, their family members and health care professionals.

More than 70 per cent of the 140,000 patients admitted annually to UK intensive care units survive.

The website is designed to help them cope with the physical, psychological, emotional and social consequences of their illness.


It eases the path to recovery by offering accessible information and advice on common problems after intensive care, and guidance on where to get practical help in the local community e.g. support groups and how to access carers’ allowance and apply for disabled parking.

The content of the website - which has sections on time in intensive care, time on general awards, getting home and moving on - was developed in direct response to patients’ input, and initial feedback has been positive. The vast majority of patients have found it useful and easy to use.

One said: “One of the things I found really helpful was the support links for dealing with the psychological and social issues we had to face after getting home.” Another added: “Reading and watching the videos of ‘Other Peoples’ Stories’ was really helpful to me, because it made you realise that you’re not alone.”

On Friday September 16, NHS managers, clinicians and government and charity representatives will gather at the Edinburgh-based Western General Hospital’s Wellcome Trust to discuss the feedback and the next steps in the website’s development. 

Funding is being sought to expand the Health Foundation-backed project - which Dr Ramsay worked on alongside colleagues from the University of Edinburgh’s Critical Care Research Group, NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary – across the rest of Scotland’s 13 health boards. 

Dr Ramsay, the Principal Investigator on the project, recently joined Edinburgh Napier from NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh. She said: “We worked closely with patients and families, healthcare professionals and with a web development company to design the website and tried to address patients’ key concerns in the year following hospital discharge.

“We are now in the process of revising the website, based on what users have told us and asked for. 

“It has evaluated extremely well among patients and families in NHS Lothian, but we are looking to secure funding to roll it out across Scotland.”

The September 16 Knowledge Exchange event will be available to view via live streaming, and has been advertised widely via social media (Twitter: #critcarerehab) 

For details go to: