Western ICPs are working to ensure that a designated Community Specialist Respiratory Team is available to all those in the Western area who have a long term respiratory condition. A redesign of respiratory services included the establishment of three teams based at Altnagelvin, Tyrone County and South West Acute hospitals, to complement the previous Western Trust respiratory service. The teams started taking direct referrals from GPs in September 2015.
Through the work of the Community Respiratory Teams, patients and carers are receiving an improved standard of co-ordinated care; are better informed and educated about self-management and early intervention; and have enhanced access to other services, including community pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and education for people with long-term lung conditions that combines physical exercise sessions with discussion and advice on lung health and has been shown to significantly reduce hospital admissions.
The 6 week programme involve one hour of strengthening exercises personalised to each patient’s ability and condition, with a respiratory nurse monitoring the heart rate and oxygen level of the patient throughout. A second hour of education is then delivered by a range of professionals to provide patients with the knowledge and skills to better understand and manage their condition. This includes input from: a consultant to explain the respiratory conditions and how the lungs are impacted; a pharmacist to discuss medication adherence and inhaler technique; a physiotherapist to advise on breathing exercises; an occupational therapist to provide energy conservation techniques; as well as inputs from a dietician, clinical psychologist and local respiratory support groups from the voluntary and community sector.
Watch to find out how Michael and Ronnie have benefited from their 6 week pulmonary rehabilitation programme in Lisnaskea.