The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the National Health Service (NHS) reported recommendations for discharging a patient from the intensive care unit (ICU) to a hospital ward. A patient recovering from intensive care has increased demands and is at increased risk for clinical deterioration.



(1) The discharge should be done as early during the day as possible. It should not be done at night (from 22:00 to 07:00).

(2) The responsibility for the patient’s care should be shared by the ICU and ward staff.

(3) There should be a written plan to make sure that the handover is done with a structured approach that ensures patient safety.

(4) The hospital ward personnel should be capable of providing adequate care for the patient, with assistance as required.

(5) The patient should be informed about his or her condition and encouraged to participate in decision-making.

(6) The patient should be monitored for physical, psychological and emotional needs. Any deterioration should be detected and responded to promptly.


The written plan for handover should include:

(1) a summary of history and the ICU stay, including diagnoses and treatment

(2) a monitoring and investigation plan

(3) a plan for ongoing treatment

(4) a plan to address physical and rehabilitation needs

(5) a plan to address emotional and psychological needs

(6) a plan to address special needs (language, communication, etc).


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