Community team up for national award

Posted on Tue, 22/11/2016

the community pulmonary rehabilitation team

One of QE Gateshead’s community teams, which works to empower patients across Gateshead to manage and live with their lung conditions, has been nominated for a national award.

The Community Pulmonary Rehabilitation team, formerly of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, has been shortlisted for an Abbvie Sustainable Healthcare Award in the category of 'Supporting individuals to take control of their care’.

The team oversees a pioneering NHS programme which supports patients in Gateshead with lung disease to manage their own condition and improve their quality of life.

The programme, which is unique to Gateshead and is run at leisure centres across the borough, was introduced in 2014. Since then more than 150 people with long-term lung conditions have been on the specially-designed programme and, as a result of changing their behaviours, many patients report they have more energy, feel less troubled by breathlessness, feel more confident and find walking easier.

Patients attend a group session twice a week for six weeks where the focus is on promoting self-management of their condition through stopping smoking, using prescribed inhalers and increasing their fitness and tolerance to exercise so they can stay as active as possible. They make choices about what they wish to achieve, deciding on the topics at each session. Specialist occupational therapists, respiratory nurses and exercise instructors then provide them with support.

Sue Easthaugh, Respiratory Occupational Therapist, said: "Developing the service to where it is today has been some journey and as such we would like to thank all those people who have been instrumental in supporting this innovative work. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the significant contribution made by the patients in the programmes. We couldn’t have done it without them and we hope the service is an example for everyone to encourage them to think differently, step out of your comfort zone and have faith to put patients in the driving seat."

One of the judges, Lord Victor Adebowale, who is CEO of Turning Point and Non-Executive Director of NHS England: "Occupational therapy pulmonary care is a simple, effective, time and life-saving intervention that could save millions if rolled out. It is a finalist simply because of its combination of simplicity, effectiveness, good data and scalability."

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 29th at The Kings Fund in London.

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