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Patient and Public Involvement


ICUsteps receives the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service logo

Last December, we were delighted to learn that ICUsteps Milton Keynes support group had been nominated for an award and in January were visited by Lady Howe to meet volunteers from ICUsteps and patients and relatives who've been helped by our charity.

It was an enjoyable meeting and very touching and immensely humbling to hear from many patients and relatives who've come to our group about the difference it had made to their lives and their recovery. Lady Howe submitted her report to the Cabinet Office and we returned our attention to the usual business of the charity and arranging our upcoming congress.

Peter and Mo at the Royal Gardem Party

It came as a complete surprise when we were contacted by phone at the beginning of May by the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The email they'd tried to send had failed to arrive so after confirming our address they trie

d again while still on the line. It was a little surreal when the email arrived - the paragraph that stood out read: "The work your group does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE and I am delighted to inform you that your group has been selected as a recipient for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service". 

ICUsteps co-founders Peter Gibb and Mo Peskett were invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 16th May but were required not to reveal that we were recipients of the  award until the official announcement from Buckingham Palace on 2nd June.


ICUsteps was founded in 2005 by former intensive care patients, relatives and medical staff in recognition of the need to provide on-going support after discharge for patients who have been critically ill.  This began by establishing six-weekly drop-in meetings where recent patients could come and talk to others who were further down their recovery journey, to let them know they’re not alone in what they feel and think and that more often than not, what they’ve experienced is normal for someone who’s been through a period of critical illness.  Since those first meetings, ICUsteps have evangelised the need for patient support through presentations and the publication of their article ‘Developing and setting up a patient and relatives intensive care support group’ in the January 2009 edition of Nursing in Critical Care.

Interest as a result of the article and presentations have led to ICUsteps groups being set up in London, Liverpool and Bristol with further groups in the early stages of forming.

Due to a lack of comprehensive patient and relative information, in 2008 they developed “Intensive Care: a guide for patients and relatives”.  This 34 page booklet, written by patients and relatives with the input of senior intensive care professionals has since been ordered by half of the UK’s intensive care units with over 55,000 copies shipped to date.

With the need for patient information and support formally recognised through NICE guideline CG83 and with an ICUsteps trustee having served as a patient representative on that guideline’s development group, they continue to promote the need and help others on their long recovery from critical illness providing empathy, not sympathy.


- Intensive Care: a guide for patients and relatives

- Visiting the Intensive Care Unit: activity book for children


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