Support Needed for New ICU Patient-families
Help Us Reduce Trauma for Loved Ones of Intensive Care Patients
A parent’s first instinct when their child is injured is to wrap them tight with love and reassurance. When Alexa Leary was critically injured and rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU), her traumatised family responded by throwing their arms around the entire unit and other ICU Patient-Families.
The Leary’s enormous empathy, combined with the experience of other ICU patient-families, has helped craft WeCU, a joint project between RBWH and the Foundation which will provide an all-encompassing support program for patient families in ICU.
In late 2021, planning for a two-year WeCU pilot program began in consultation with hospital administration, clinicians, nurses, social workers, patients and patient families.
“RBWH does extraordinary work for patients and everyone that RBWH Foundation has spoken to – patients and patient families – cannot speak highly enough of the clinical staff, social workers and nursing staff,” said RBWH Foundation Board Member and WeCU Patron Leona Murphy.
“What patient families say they do need, is guidance through this very difficult stage of treatment, focusing on emotional, physical and financial support.”
With the assistance of public funding, the pilot will focus on the following three key areas:
- COMFORT: The family waiting area outside of the ICU will be refurnished, creating a warmer and more inviting space.
- CARE: An RBWH ICU Concierge Service will become the families’ ‘go-to’ for advice, information and to source accommodation, parking, food and other support.
- SUPPORT: A two-way, technology-based solution will be set up to improve communication between families and medical personnel. With an iPad at each ICU bed, families can connect with patients via FaceTime. The Foundation has committed establishment funding of $1m over the next two years.
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