Rehabilitation intensive care


HCA UK experts explain the important role of therapeutic rehabilitation services in the intensive care unit (ICU).

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We recognise how beneficial rehabilitation services are to patients in our intensive care unit (ICU). Studies show that the earlier therapy is received, the quicker recovery will be.

Our consultants are at the forefront of rehabilitation therapy, giving full holistic care and support to patients who need complex inpatient rehabilitation.

Need to know

Our team of rehabilitation specialists includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, neuropsychologists, dietitians and specialist rehabilitative nurses.

A range of techniques may be used, including mobilisation (a hands-on technique to restore pain-free movement), limb exercises, respiratory muscle training and electrical stimulation.

We also have three specialist rehabilitation gyms and a hydrotherapy pool. We aim to help patients achieve optimal recovery and well being through a personalised rehabilitation programme, tailored to support the individual and their family.
The treatment you receive will depend on the nature of your condition. A physiotherapist may work with you before surgery to keep you fit enough to cope with your operation. After surgery, they will focus on getting you mobile as soon as possible.

Therapists may also do a series of short tests to help assess your strength and body function, too. These may include:
  • asking if you can raise your arms and legs
  • asking if you can sit and stand, and whether you can stand up from sitting
  • assessing your general alertness
  • monitoring what medication you are taking
  • asking questions about where you feel pain
There are many different reasons why you may be in ICU, and our multidiscipline team will work closely together to devise a bespoke treatment plan that is suited to your needs. The length of the treatment plan will depend on how well you respond to treatment and is usually tailored in response to this.

For some, physical and psychological health problems can persist after critical illness when patients return home. This is known as Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). In this situation, our consultants will continue to assess your needs and monitor your progress so they are able to recommend further treatment and support.

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.