Objective: To determine the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance (NICE CG83) for posthospital discharge critical illness follow-up and rehabilitation programmes. Design: Closed-question postal survey. Setting: Adult intensive care units (ICUs) across the UK, identified from national databases of organisations. Specialist-only and private ICUs were not included. Participants: Senior respiratory critical care physiotherapy clinicians. Results: A representative sample of 182 surveys was returned from the 240 distributed (75.8% (95% CI 70.4 to 81.2)). Only 48 organisations (27.3% (95% CI 20.7 to 33.9)) offered a follow-up service 2-3 months following hospital discharge, the majority (n=39, 84.8%) in clinic format. 12 organisations reported posthospital discharge rehabilitation programmes (6.8% (95% CI 3.1 to 10.5)), albeit only 10 of these operated on a regular basis. Lack of funding was reported as the most frequent (n=149/164, 90%) and main barrier (n=99/156, 63.5%) to providing services. Insufficient resources (n=71/164, 43.3%) and lack of priority by the clinical management team (n=66/164, 40.2%) were also highly cited barriers to service delivery. Conclusions: NICE CG83 has been successful in profiling the importance of rehabilitation for survivors of critical illness. However, 4 years following publication of CG83 there has been limited development of this clinical service across the UK. Strategies to support delivery of such quality improvement programmes are urgently required to enhance patient care.
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