The BBC has reported that a recent study suggests that many intensive care patients suffer moderate to severe pain up to a year after leaving hospital with very little or no support.

Almost 300 intensive care patients answered questions for the study, which was published in the journal Critical Care.

The research also found a quarter of the patients were dependent on help with washing and dressing for months following their discharge. Two-thirds of the patients still had problems walking six months after leaving hospital. A third of all patients said there had been a negative impact on their family income six months after leaving hospital, with this figure only declining slightly at 12 months after discharge.

The Department of Health said it was "crucial" patients got the support they needed when they left hospital.The study has found that many patients are discharged from intensive care with little or no support and have to rely on care from family members.

Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashton KCJ, comments:

“When patients are discharged from intensive care, many still require high levels of care and support. This recent study shows that sufficient support is not always available.

Short term measures, such as disabled parking badges or adaptations in the home, would be a great help to many patients following discharge. Currently, these are not available until patients have been immobile for a year.Although the Department of Health have said that £859 million has been set aside to develop new services to help people maintain their independence, it is unclear what helpful measures have been put in place to date to utilise these funds.”