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What happens after being in Critical Care?


Peer Support Coffee Mornings

In CTMUHB Critical Care, we run Coffee Mornings three or four times a year for Critical Care survivors and their families. They rotate around each part of the Health Board but are open to everyone, regardless of which Critical Care Unit you were admitted to.

This is a free event and is open to anyone who has been a Critical Care patient and their loved ones who would like to speak with other Critical Care survivors and families to share and normalise their experiences and recovery journeys. Different members of staff also come to the coffee mornings, including Doctors, Nurses and the Psychology Team. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have from your time in Critical Care but also for us to see your recovery!

Quotes from our coffee mornings:

“The best things about the coffee mornings are meeting other patients and staff, sharing experiences, being able to normalise my journey and say thank you to staff.”

“It is lovely to watch my sister chat with other people who have been through the same thing and realising that other families are experiencing recovery the same as ours.”

“It is so helpful to share experiences with likeminded people in a safe space to realise that others have had similar experiences.”

“The coffee mornings help me feel like I can open up about my experience on ITU and be properly understood.”

Bereavement Support

If your relative has died in Critical Care, the nurses will have given you the details for the Bereavement Officer and a Bereavement Booklet (Online copy can be found here:

Information on what help the Bereavement Officer can provide you with can be found here:


Critical Care Bereavement Support

Whilst this helps with the practicalities of what to do after losing a loved one in hospital, people can often be left feeling in shock, numb, angry or anxious (to name but a few common reactions) and not knowing where to turn for support. Here in Critical Care, we offer a Family Support & Bereavement Service run by the Critical Care Clinical Psychology Team. You can ask to be referred to this service at any time during your loved one's stay in Critical Care and quite often we may have already met you during a family meeting or update with the doctors. When somebody dies in Critical Care, we aim to contact their next of kin with a courtesy call within 7 days to offer you support, a listening ear and signpost you to the most relevant and local services (if needed). 

If you would like to arrange a bereavement follow-up with any of the Critical Care teams to understand more about why your loved one died, you can contact the Family Support Team on: 01443 443475 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm, excluding Bank Holidays)


Families losing a loved one in Prince Charles and Royal Glamorgan Hospitals will also receive a letter in the next 2 - 3 months proactively inviting family/next of kin to a Bereavement Debrief Clinic. These clinics are run by a Consultant in Critical Care and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and aim to support you through your grief by helping you understand your loved one's journey through intensive care and answer any questions which you or your family may be dwelling on since your loved one died. Grief is not a linear journey, and whilst with time, most people manage to make space around their grief to re-engage in their daily activities we know that for some people this is more difficult, especially when a loss has been sudden or traumatic. We hope to support families through this difficult time and the feedback from those who have come to this clinic has been overwhelmingly positive:

"You are in such a state of shock when it all happens you don't take in everything that is said. This was a welcome opportunity to revisit those last few days and understand what happened"

“I wish we had had this opportunity when [another relative died] it has given us the peace we were looking for"


Other Resources:


  • When a family loses a child or young adult, the effects are devastating for all who knew and loved them. 2Wish aims to ensure that all those affected by the sudden and traumatic death of a child or a young adult aged 25 or under throughout Wales receive the important support they deserve.


Child Bereavement UK

  • Child Bereavement UK helps families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. We support children and young people (up to the age of 25) when someone important to them has died or is not expected to live, and parents and the wider family when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying.
  • They offer free, confidential bereavement support for individuals, couples, children, young people, and families, by telephone, video or instant messenger, wherever you live in the UK. They also offer face-to-face support from a number of locations.


Cruse Bereavement Care


Marie Curie

  • National end-of-life care charity that provides a range of support for people bereaved as a result of any terminal illness, this includes counselling, group and 1:1 telephone support - 0800 090 2309.




Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

  • Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide are a self-help organisation that exist to help those who have been bereaved by suicide. They also have a National Helpline which is open 9am – 9pm daily.



Winston's Wish

Organ Donation Support

All Critical Care Units in Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom support organ and tissue donation. Organ donation is considered for all patients on Critical Care whose death is inevitable. The clinical team work closely with Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation (SNODs). SNODs are specifically trained to provide expert support in these situations. They are invaluable in assisting families in making the best decision for the patient and their loved ones. In 2021/22, Cwm Taf Morgannwg supported 12 organ donations – this gave the Gift of Life to 29 recipients across the UK.

The organ donation law in Wales is now that every person who has not registered a decision has no opposing views towards becoming a donor, and therefore we can assume their consent. However, this is always discussed with a family member/loved one. If you are not aware of what this means for you, we encourage you to look at the Welsh Government website to consider your options, register your decision and understand the role of family and friends. The link to this website can be found here:

For further information, please see the NHS Organ Donation page:

Compliments Concerns & Feedback

Critical Care survivors may experience a difficult admission, with loved ones, family and friends also finding this time challenging despite the support we aim to provide.

As a team, we are committed to continual learning and improvement, striving to provide the best care to every patient and family we meet. We would like to hear your feedback on the service we provide, including things that went well, to thank someone who made a difference or to tell us how we could have done better.

Please feel free to offer this feedback to staff on Critical Care. Or alternatively, use the Health Board procedure to logging complaints and concerns. The website for this can be found here:

Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS)

  • The Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) provides free confidential advice, information and support. They can help you with any concerns or queries you may have about your care, a loved one’s or someone you support, providing help when you need it, or don’t know where to turn. PALS can help you sort out any worries and concerns that may arise and will work with staff and managers to negotiate quick solutions to problems or questions. You may choose to speak to PALS first to try to resolve a problem before or instead of making a formal complaint.

For more information and contact details, please follow this link: PALS (Patient Advisory Liaison Service)

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