Lancashire TelegraphHelp is at hand for East Lancashire lung disease sufferers (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Help is at hand for East Lancashire lung disease sufferers

Lancashire Telegraph: Help is at hand for East Lancashire lung disease sufferers Help is at hand for East Lancashire lung disease sufferers

A NEW scheme for lung disease sufferers in East Lancs has cut hospital attendances by 85 per cent in eight months.

By combining early intervention with improved follow-up care, exercise classes and peer-support groups, Blackburn with Darwen Community Respiratory Service has seen hospital admissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), fall from 81 per 100 people to 12 per 100.

The new service, run by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, combines the community nursing team and a rehab service.

Will Sullivan, of the pulmonary rehabilitation service, said breathlessness is not just a part of growing older.

He said: “Usually people present at the doctors two or three times before they get so bad they need to be admitted to hospital.”

He said that after hospitalisation, it can take three or four months before they’re well again.

Under the new scheme patients with symptoms who go to their GP are given follow-up checks from a community matron for four weeks, and once diagnosed, are provided with an ‘emergency pack’ of steriods and antibiotics to stop a severe flare up or ‘lung attack’.

The service is also encouraging the formation of Breatheasy social groups for COPD sufferers to support one another.

Currently, 3,500 people in Blackburn with Darwen have been diagnosed with COPD, with 1,000 more undiagnosed. In 80 per cent of cases of COPD the patient is or has been a smoker.

Paul Riley, 69, of Blackburn, was diagnosed with COPD four years ago. He is an active member of the Blackburn with Darwen Breatheasy Group and is supported by the Community Respiratory Service. He was full of praise for the new scheme and added: “Also, having the emergency pack of drugs for a flare up means that I have avoided going into hospital four times this year.

“You can get on with having a more normal life, and not worry about things like what might happen if you’re feeling unwell on holiday.”

As well as aiding the patient, reducing hospital admissions also saves money. An average four to six night stay in hospital for a COPD patient costs the NHS in the region of £2,100.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:41pm Fri 16 Nov 12

mavrick says...

Good news from the trust for a change. I hope it carries on being a success.
Good news from the trust for a change. I hope it carries on being a success. mavrick
  • Score: 1

10:31pm Fri 16 Nov 12

useyourhead says...

This service was invaluable to my mum, she learned an awful lot about how to manage her flare ups and it gave her the opportunity to reclaim what was left of her life, it also gave her much needed reassurance that there was always one or more avenues to get help at the right time, as the article says, to prevent the hospital visits, which for people with C.O.P.D are in themselves very dangerous because of the chance of picking up a chest infection.
-
its win win, saves both lives and money, well done and thank you to all involved.
This service was invaluable to my mum, she learned an awful lot about how to manage her flare ups and it gave her the opportunity to reclaim what was left of her life, it also gave her much needed reassurance that there was always one or more avenues to get help at the right time, as the article says, to prevent the hospital visits, which for people with C.O.P.D are in themselves very dangerous because of the chance of picking up a chest infection. - its win win, saves both lives and money, well done and thank you to all involved. useyourhead
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree