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Critical Care

What Is Critical Care?

Critical Care, also referred to as Intensive Care, is defined by the NHS as being needed if “someone is seriously ill and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring, or if they’re having surgery and intensive care can help them recover.”
Someone may require critical care after receiving a head injury, major surgery or after a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke.
Once a person is well enough to be discharged from hospital, they can have continuing care from the community healthcare team, or choose Helping Hands’ dedicated private carers.

While our compassionate and dedicated carers cannot solely provide critical care for you at home, they can be involved in your wider healthcare team that may include your GP, community nurses and other healthcare professionals. This is especially true if you are on a palliative care pathway or approaching the end of your life.

What Is Included with Critical Care?

According to the NHS, critical or intensive care patients in hospital will normally be looked after on a ratio of “1 nurse for every 1 or 2 patients” and can be supported by a range of different equipment that’s designed to take over bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate and supplying nutrition.
While Helping Hands’ carers cannot be involved with all the same equipment that you’d see in a hospital, they can be trained in non-invasive ventilation, feeding tubes directly into the stomach, and catheters inserted into the bladder to remove urine.
A person undergoing critical care will often be sedated so that the body has a chance to recover and be receiving painkillers to reduce the discomfort they may feel. Seeing them like this can be distressing for loved ones, however a person who’s under sedation may still be able to hear the voices of those around them, so don’t be afraid to talk to them as if you were having your normal conversations or hold their hand if it’s something you’d usually do.

Benefits of One-to-One post-Critical Care support

Being able to return home and be cared for in the community rather than remaining in hospital is something that will benefit a person, because not only do they get to return to the home they love, which can be emotionally as well as physically beneficial, they get one-to-one care from dedicated Helping Hands carers on either a visiting or a live-in basis. It’s unlikely that hospitals will have the resources to care for you individually, meaning that when you return home and have your personalised care delivered by our compassionate carers, you will really feel the benefits to your wider wellbeing.

Additional Critical Care support from Helping Hands

When you have care at home you call the shots, as your support plan is put into place around your needs only, meaning you’ll always be at the centre of your own care journey.

We can provide care on either a visiting or live-in care basis, throughout the day or overnight and even short-term and in an emergency, so whatever you need us for, you’ll find us nearby, throughout England and Wales.

If you would like additional information about our care services, please call our friendly customer care team seven days a week, or contact us via our website.

Page reviewed by Rebecca Bennett, Regional Clinical Lead on November 30, 2021