InS:PIRE: Intensive care Syndrome: Promoting Independence and Return to Employment

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

This project was funded between October 2016 and October 2018.

  • Led by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, in partnership with the University of Glasgow, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Scottish Intensive Care Society.
  • Implemented the InS:PIRE rehabilitation programme in five centres across four health boards in Scotland.
  • Aimed to improve the health of intensive care unit survivors and increase how in control they feel about their health and wellbeing.
  • A five-week, self-management, peer-supported recovery programme for patients and carers. 

Many patients have poor quality of life following an intensive care admission. Reduced mobility, dependence on family members and continuing health issues can lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. This can impede the recovery process, increase health care costs, and cause significant burden to individuals, caregivers and society.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary successfully prototyped a rehabilitation intervention: InS:PIRE (Intensive Care Syndrome: Promoting Independence and Return to Employment). This five-week recovery programme focuses on patient education, peer support and facilitating self-management.

InS:PIRE was co-produced with service users and is the first intensive care rehabilitation model to include caregivers and encompass health and social support, which is key for optimal recovery. 

This project involved scaling up InS:PIRE to further centres in Scotland, serving different populations and with variations in context.

The scaling up teams first worked with their own patient and family focus groups to establish local needs, and then implemented the intervention and iteratively improved it through a series of tests of change. Teams shared their progress and learning with each other in a series of national learning sessions.

Between 2016 and 2018, 38 participant cohorts were delivered across Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Wishaw and Monklands Hospitals, Victoria Hospital, Crosshouse Hospital and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

The project demonstrated that it is possible to scale the InS:PIRE intervention and that it is flexible enough to accommodate local needs. Central to the success of the intervention were one-to-one contact with staff, peer support and staff working across disciplinary boundaries. A common challenge was implementing innovation in the content of processes and structures that were built to serve existing NHS functions.

About this programme


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