New service to help Suffolk patients breathe more easily

Thousands of Suffolk patients with respiratory problems are to receive care in their own homes in the hope of keeping them out of hospital.The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds won a three-year contract to provide an innovative new service to 8,000 patients across the county who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Thousands of Suffolk patients

with respiratory problems are to receive care in their own homes in the hope of keeping them out of hospital.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds won a three-year contract to provide an innovative new service to 8,000 patients across the county who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The service was launched in February and is gradually being phased in.


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It will see a specialist team skilled in the care of COPD patients work alongside GPs and community matrons. Specialist respiratory nurses will travel to people's homes to assess their condition, give oxygen as needed and hold rehabilitation courses in leisure centres, gyms and village halls.

It is hoped that encouraging people to become more independent will reduce their isolation, while rehabilitation courses will help improve mobility and allow people to share experiences.

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Patients who are treated in their own homes will receive daily visits for a short period of time from the nurse-led team, while robust clinical supervision by doctors will ensure anyone who does need hospital treatment is admitted as soon as possible.

The West Suffolk Hospital won the contract because of its experience with COPD patients. It will be working with Ipswich Hospital to give care across the county.

Executive chief nurse Nichole Day said: "This ground-breaking service has been designed to provide patients throughout Suffolk with expert, tailored care in the most appropriate setting.

"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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