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New Community Respiratory Team a breath of fresh air for patients in the West


Patients with long term respiratory disease in the Western area are benefiting from the launch of a new integrated Community Respiratory Team.

In line with the Transforming Your Care Programme, the Community Respiratory Team aims to create a seamless service to manage patients with respiratory disease such as COPD, more effectively in the primary care and community setting. This will reduce the number of appointments patients require in hospital clinics, enhance the process of diagnosis and management and reduce the likelihood of a potential admission of hospital.

Dr Brendan O’Hare, ICP Clinical Lead for the Western area, said: “Integrated Care Partnerships are working in local areas to improve services for respiratory conditions. GPs, in providing primary care alternatives to hospital services, ensure that only those patients who require more complex treatment and care need attend hospital. By sharing clinical skills, experience and expertise GPs in the Western area can work with the Western Trust to plan and deliver care which sustains services into the future. This is an excellent example of a truly collaborative way of working that will provide a better experience for patients, their families and carers, and, reduce pressure on hospital services.”

The highly experienced multidisciplinary teams, based at Altnagelvin, Tyrone County and South West Acute hospitals, have developed a range of diverse services to improve patient care offering clinical support, monitoring, education programmes and advice on self-management to patients and their families. Patients can be seen in a range of settings, including their own homes, healthy living centres, clinics and GP practices.

Western Trust Chairman, Gerard Guckian said: “The Western Trust is delighted to be able to launch this new and vital service to patients with long term respiratory conditions. It is inspiring to see the commitment and dedication shown by the Community Respiratory Team in delivering innovative services to ensure our respiratory patients are receiving the highest quality of care.”

Dr Rose Sharkey, Respiratory Consultant with the Western Trust added: “For a number of years we have been developing our service across the Western Trust with the aim of enhancing the quality of life of patients with respiratory disease. The Community Respiratory Teams, based in three locations across the Western Trust, will further complement this service. By working closely with GPs and offering the best care in the most appropriate setting, we are providing connected health services in the local community which will minimise the requirement for respiratory patients to travel to our hospital sites. I am extremely proud of this development and hope that over the winter months our patients will start to feel the benefit of this new integrated service.”