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London South Bank University (LSBU) has launched one of the first UK studies exploring patient experiences of critical illness related to COVID-19.

The study is being run in collaboration with NHS Seacole and the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust from October 2020 to May 2021.

The university says the study is an important but, as yet, little researched area about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on patients.

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Funded by the Burdett Nursing Trust, the LSBU COVID-19 rehabilitation study will:

  • Listen to COVID-19 patients’ experiences to find out how they have been affected both emotionally and physically
  • Explore the support COVID-19 patients feel they need to become well again
  • Make policy recommendations to government and NHS to improve health and social care support for COVID-19 patients in the community to support their rehabilitation

According to the university, over 7000 people have been discharged alive from critical care in the UK since March 2020 after being hospitalised with COVID-19. Worldwide, among all hospitalised patients with COVID-19, 26-32 percent have required admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).

Suzanne Bench, LSBU Professor of Critical Care (Nursing), said: “Becoming critically ill is a traumatic experience for any patient. It is clear much more can be done to better support rehabilitation for COVID-19 patients to tackle serious long-term consequences.

“Sadly the effects of critical illness don’t stop when COVID-19 patients leave hospital. They can lead to serious social, financial and emotional problems in the short and long-term. Our LSBU COVID-19 rehabilitation study will listen to patients about their experiences and make recommendations to government and NHS to better support their recovery.”

A final report will be prepared for the Burdett Trust, which will include recommendations for optimising care of people during community-based rehabilitation, in the short and long-term.

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