Our Meetings - What Happens

Maiden Place Community Centre, Maiden Place, Lower Earley, Reading RG6 3HE


Liza Keating  (ICU Consultant)  in one to one discussion with an ex relative The meetings will have short talks from ex-patients/ relatives on their experiences, which you may be able to relate to.


  • There will be a chance to ask questions and have informal chats, whilst having a drink (refreshments provided).
  • We hope to cover issues that affect many of the people who experience ICU, have talks by medical professionals and provide information sheets.
  • Your suggestions of what to include are very welcome.
  • Also attending and giving support will be ICU staff and other relevant healthcare professionals. There are opportunities to get involved in future meetings and help raise awareness of issues that may be affecting them or others (or have in the past). There is no limit to the number of meetings you attend and no pressure put on you to join in any of the discussions.
  • We have set up this group due to the lack of local or nationwide groups and hope to increase levels of knowledge for patients, relatives/carers, medical professionals and the general public.

Will Orchard (Chief Registrar) Cat Boyd (Staff Nurse) presentation on the introduction of pet therapy for patients Vinnie with her owner Karen The star of the night Vinnie
Will Orchard (Chief Registrar) Cat Boyd (Staff Nurse) presentation on the introduction of pet therapy for patients Vinnie with her owner Karen The star of the night Vinnie
David Mossop (Consultant ED) and Angela Forster (Matron CC and Rest Medicine) ask for suggestions on the redesign of ED & the ICU Jane Screen (CC Nurse), helping during the interval A Day in the Life of......Presented by from left to right, Sara Evans (CC Senior Staff Nurse), Jane Screen (CC Nurse),  Ria McMullen (CC Sister), Melanie Gager (Nurse Consultant in CC), Dr James Kennedy, Dr David Mossop (Consultant ED), Dr Stefan Glaze, Sarah Strongroom (Speech Therapist), and Angela Forster (Matron,CC & Respiratory Medicine).
David Mossop (Consultant ED) and Angela Forster (Matron CC and Rest Medicine) ask for suggestions on the redesign of ED & the ICU Jane Screen (CC Nurse), helping during the interval A Day in the Life of......Presented by from left to right, Sara Evans (CC Senior Staff Nurse), Jane Screen (CC Nurse), Ria McMullen (CC Sister), Melanie Gager (Nurse Consultant in CC), Dr James Kennedy, Dr David Mossop (Consultant ED), Dr Stefan Glaze, Sarah Strongroom (Speech Therapist), and Angela Forster (Matron,CC & Respiratory Medicine).
Liza Ketting and Tim Parke (IC Consultants) present on their experiences of working in IC Victoria Hume performing songs she wrote based on hallucination suffered by patients while in ICU Informal discussions between presenters and attendees
Liza Ketting and Tim Parke (IC Consultants) present on their experiences of working in IC Victoria Hume performing songs she wrote based on hallucination suffered by patients while in ICU Informal discussions between presenters and attendees
Ian Rechner (IC Consultant) presents on patient ventilation  Bronwen Connolly Consultant Physiotherapist, presents her project, Physical Rehabilitation Core Outcomes in Critical Illness Helen Wilson shows the Group her medals won at the 2016 & 2017 Transplant Games during her presentation on her experience of organ transplants.
Ian Rechner (IC Consultant) presents on patient ventilation Bronwen Connolly Consultant Physiotherapist, presents her project, Physical Rehabilitation Core Outcomes in Critical Illness Helen Wilson shows the Group her medals won at the 2016 & 2017 Transplant Games during her presentation on her experience of organ transplants.

The mid meeting break provides an opportunity for patients and relatives to share their experiences and discuss them with clinical staff from the Unit,

Dr Tim Parke’s Experience of presenting at his first meeting

Tim PeakeI must confess I was feeling a little anxious as I parked outside the Maiden Earley Community Centre where the ICU support network were meeting. I was already 45 minutes late, and Liza had sent out a couple of texts politely asking my whereabouts. Plus we hadn’t prepared any slides... or anything really. We had decided we would talk about a day in the life of an ICU consultant and take questions. What if there weren’t any? What if they were expecting lots of pictures of equipment and graphs? What if, what if….

Within two seconds of walking in I realised all would be well. Liza was at the front, beaming at me, and I was engulfed by a wave of warmth and gratitude from the patients and their families.

I don’t know how long we all talked for but it flashed past. Patients told us of their experiences and how they were getting on and families greeted us like old friends. We both occasionally do the follow‐up clinic, but this was different. Seeing people who you last saw on a ventilator with their normal clothes on, chatting and laughing with family and other patients is priceless.

Of course, almost everyone there had been through very difficult times and for many there is still a way to go to full recovery. Leaving ICU is only the start of a very long journey. I had always known that in an abstract way but going to the support network made it real – real patients with real families and real stories. To someone who has (so far) never been seriously ill, the courage and resilience shown by the people I met there was humbling. For any staff working in ICU, a profession notorious for burn‐out, this is a hugely positive experience. If you’re wondering if your job is worth it, if you are really making a difference, then visit the ICU Support Network. You won’t want to do anything else!


Dr Emilie Levesque

Dr Emilie LevesqueDr Emilie Levesque from Canada recently visited the Support Group – she had heard about our Rehab after Critical Illness service and our Support Group meetings and was amazed by the ‘community’ of critically ill survivors and their families and the support they provide for each other. Emilie also visited clinic and is very keen to replicate this in Canada. She recognised the huge benefit to all – staff and patients and families alike.

Patient/Relative feedback

“Last night was great, very insightful and very, emotional. The video you made had J and I crying ( I really thought it was only me that had those memories) it just came flooding back, Thank you for all the hard work you guys do for all of us and I think I can truthfully say from all of us we appreciate it.”


“I make attending the ICU support group a priority, even though it is several years since my ICU admission... it somehow reassures me that I am not alone… it is a comfort to know that others feel as I do… and that’s what makes the difference facing every day.”


“It gives us (patients and families) a way of paying back, of being heard, that our experiences matter and that collectively we can make a difference for current and future patients and families.”


“We are ‘community’. We have all travelled the same path, for different reasons but are all recovering together, helping one another, listening to one another and helping the staff too.”


“When the patient with sepsis spoke it was really insightful and really increased my awareness… I had no idea… then to follow that up with a talk from the Sepsis Nurse ….wonderful.”


“Being involved in research is a definite bonus from my perspective. Recognising that we can use our experience in research and that the researchers are keen to use us as a sounding board is really valuable and important to us.”


""Great cake, great support, great to know it’s there!""


And some words from Dr Carl Waldmann…

The patient and relatives support group has been one of the most important results of the Royal Berkshire Hospital ICU RACI initiatives.

It has provided a vibrant and welcoming forum for any of the patients and relatives that have been associated with our ICU.

It is for the patients and relatives and is run by the patients and relatives.

The group has provided support for new patients and relatives and has provided a wealth of experience for those in ICU to provide a quality improvement of our service.

All the doctors that come and participate can only watch in amazement at the proceedings of the these quarterly meetings, and the content of the lectures delivered by guest presenters is second to none. Long may this group continue and thank you for all the support.


Presentations

1st March 2016 – Dr Atul Kapila ((Trusts R & D Lead Clinician), Careys Jones (Research and Development Clinical Trials Implementation Manager), Nicola Jaques (ICU/ED Research Team Leader) and Lesile Frederick (R & D Manager) – Research in the Trust and Research Ambassadors.

Dr Joel Meyers (Consultant St Thomas’) – Driving after discharge from ICU

7th June 2016 – Dr Andy Walden (IC Consultant, Research) – The experience of a critically ill patient and their relative being involved in research.

James Gough – ex-patient experience

6th September 2016 – Gemma Perman (Clinical Psychiatrist – Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service) Support provided by the service with particular reference to hallucinations.

6th December 2016 – Sara Evans (Senior Staff Nurse, ICU) – Lack of sleep in ICU - Sarah McGill (Senior Staff Nurse, ICU) – Quiet time in ICU

Matt Wiltshire – ex patients; Volunteering in ICU

7th March 2017 – Dr Carl Waldmann (ICU Consultant) and Dr Andrew Jaques (ICU Consultant) - Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest

6th June 2017 – Dr Evelyn Corner (Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Brunel University) – Early experience of rehabilitation of critically ill patients.

Sarah Eli - (Highly Specialist Speech & Language Therapist , Critical Care) – Use of Eyeglaze and other equipment on ICU

5th September 2017 – Melanie Gager (RaCI Lead Nurse) and Matt Wiltshire (ex-patient) - Hallucinations

5th December 2017 – Claire Burnett (Sepsis Lead Nurse)) – Insight into Sepsis and her role as the RBH

Stuart Holmes - ex-patient; ICU and Sepsis experience

June 2018 – Andy Walden (Consultant in Acute and Intensive Care Medicine) – Point of care with ultrasound.

June 2018 – Dick Berry – Patient experience of ICU.

June 2018 – Christine Berry – Relative experience of ICU

September 2018 – Richard Huff – Patient experience of ICU.

December 2018 – Carl Waldmann (ICU Consultant) and Melanie Gager (Nurse Consultant in Critical Care) – History of the RBH follow-up service and its future.

December 2018 – Karin Gerber (Advanced Critical Care Practitioner) – What do you think is relevant to British Association of Critical Care nurses from a patient and relative perspective?

March 2019 – Bethany Huff – Relative experience of ICU.

March 2019 – Bronwen Connelly (Honorary Consultant Clinical Research Physiotherapist, Critical Care) – Physiotherapy in Critical Care.

June 2019 – Matron Angela Forster (Critical Care & Respiratory Medicine Matron), Dr David Mossop (Consultant in Emergency Medicine), Dr James Kennedy (Junior Doctor),Sarah Strongroom (Highly Specialised Speech Therapist), Sara Evans (Critical Care Senior Staff Nurse/RACI) and Jane Screen (Critical Care Nurse) – ‘A day in the life of…’

September 2019 – September 2019 – Louise Koslicki (ICU Physiotherapy Lead) – Physio on ICU.

September 2019 – Helen Wilson (Double organ transplantee) – 2019 British and World Transplant Games.

September 2019 – Melanie Gager (Nurse Consultant in Critical Care) – Humanising the ICU.

December 2019 – Yvonne Redgrave – ICU patient experience of Sepsis.

December 2019 – Cat Boyd (Staff Nurse) and Will Orchard (Chief Registrar) – introduction of pet therapy for patients.

December 2019 – Angela Forster (Matron of Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine) and David Mossop (Consultant in Emergency Medicine) – urgent care hospital redesign of Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.

June 2019 – December 2019 – Will Orchard (Chief Registrar) – Patient and relative engagement with two workstreams for the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine:

  1. Care of the critically ill patient in the Emergency Department.
  2. Intensive Care Medicine criteria redesign.




Getting there...

Maiden Place Community Centre - Ample free parking and local bus service - bus route-no 21 www.reading-buses.co.uk

Click on Maps link and scroll down and click on claret 21, the nearest bus stop is on Kilnsea Drive (adjacent to Chilcombe Way) and is a 3 minute walk to the centre.

Meeting Dates 2019

5th March

4th June

3rd September

3rd December

Meeting Dates 2020

3rd March

2nd June - CANCELLED

1st Sept - CANCELLED

1st Dec - CANCELLED

Meetings are held from 7:30pm to 9:30pm



Meetings