A committed team at East Surrey Hospital who implemented a multidisciplinary team (MDT) follow-up clinic for patients admitted to intensive care (ICU) with COVID-19 have won a Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Respiratory Collaborative Quality Improvement Project Award for their hard work and commitment to patient care.
The clinic was set up during the first wave of the pandemic for patients recovering from COVID-19 three months after leaving hospital. It supported patients by providing a “one stop shop” to see all specialists at one appointment, as part of improving patient experience.
The clinic meant patients could see clinical specialists including an ICU nurse, physiotherapist, psychologist and respiratory consultant, while also receiving a lung function assessment and x-ray in one afternoon, removing the need for multiple appointments. Patients are also able to be referred to other services once they have been reviewed in clinic.
Led by Jackie Mitchell and the ICU follow-up team, a service to follow up with intensive care patients has been ongoing since 2011. Though previously, these appointments did not include such a range of clinicians from different specialities working together. COVID-19 provided an opportunity for the MDT method to be implemented to support patients with many ongoing needs after a stay on ICU.
The team were one of just four winners of the award, which recognised Quality Improvement initiatives in the field of respiratory. It was presented on 29 June 2021.
Lucy Pearson, senior critical care respiratory physiotherapist, and Jackie Mitchell, senior sister in ICU, gave a short presentation of what the clinic entailed and its achievements as part of the application.
Lucy Pearson said: “The impact of an ICU stay can remain with patients for many years. This clinic aims to address any ongoing physical, cognitive and psychological concerns that the patient may continue to experience. ICU saved their lives, and we help them to continue to live it.”
Jackie Mitchell added: “Having a more robust MDT clinic approach means these patients are receiving far better care. I have wanted an MDT approach for years and COVID-19 has given this to us for all the COVID patients but also the non COVID patients going forward.”
This collaborative team effort is continuing, with more developments in the clinic being implemented during the second peak. People now get a designated, separate appointment with an ICU psychologist for psychological support post-COVID and an opportunity for the team to prioritise urgent needs for patients to be seen by the respiratory clinic. The developments to the service also enable patients to be referred to specialist and rehabilitation services without delay. This collaboration sees the team working closely with community care colleagues to ensure continuity of care, whilst overall improving patient experience.
Notes to editor:
Read more about the award and see the names of those involved here.