Respiratory patients to be treated at home

THOUSANDS of patients suffering with respiratory problems in Suffolk will soon be receiving “specially targeted” care in their own homes.

Dave Gooderham

THOUSANDS of patients suffering with respiratory problems in Suffolk will soon be receiving “specially targeted” care in their own homes.

The innovative scheme will keep many of the 8,000 people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease out of hospital.

It will be led by West Suffolk Hospital, and assisted by Ipswich Hospital, ensuring that patients across the county receive consistent and dedicated care while reduced the pressure on beds.

Nichole Day , executive chief nurse at the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “This ground-breaking service has been designed to provide patients throughout Suffolk with expert, tailored care in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

“This new model of care will allow more patients to receive high quality treatment in their own homes, which evidence shows can help their recovery while also reducing hospital admissions.

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“Our specialist team will also be on hand to support patients who do need to be admitted, helping to keep hospital stays as short as possible.”

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust won the three-year contract to provide the innovative new service which has gradually been phased in since last month.

A team skilled in the care of COPD patients will work alongside GPs and community matrons to provide care in people's homes, within the community or in hospital.

Ms Day said: “While we will continue to be a local hospital, we will also be delivering an integrated service which promotes a seamless provision of hospital and out-of-hospital care.

“We will be exploring further opportunities to develop other similar pathways in the future, as they are proven to be of great benefit to patients.”

As part of the scheme, specialist respiratory nurses will visit patients' homes to assess their clinical condition and hold rehabilitation courses in community settings.

Patients treated in their own homes will receive daily visits for a short period of time from the nurse-led team and “robust” clinical supervision by doctors.

Nurse consultant Linda Pearce said: “The new model of care will help to decrease the feeling of isolation which some patients may suffer by encouraging them to become more independent.

“We are delighted to have won this contract, especially as the trust has a proven track record in providing high quality treatment to patients with COPD.”