Trust's COPD community partnership wins prestigious national award
Staff in the respiratory centre have developed a programme which combines hospital, GP and home care for patients with severe breathing conditions across Hampshire.
The project, which sees doctors and nurses visit GP surgeries to help diagnose, treat and manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has led to a 19% drop in hospital admissions in the past year and was recently named Acute and Primary Care Innovation at the 2011 Health Service Journal awards.
As well as supporting colleagues with treatment, the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust team, led by consultants Dr Simon Bourne and Dr Tom Wilkinson, focus on improving symptoms through nutrition and physical activity and educating patients on how to handle future problems.
Additionally, the team runs a 'hospital at home' scheme, where nurses visit patients regularly at home to ensure they are coping well, and a 24-hour helpline for emergencies.
“We have created a smooth, simple and effective pathway for patients from diagnosis to ongoing treatment that has only been possible through the close relations we have built between hospital staff and GP surgeries, as well as with other community healthcare providers,” said Dr Bourne.
“We are not only seeing more tailored, individualised care for patients who require careful and specialist management, we are also preventing hospital admissions, which frees up valuable resources in hospital to deal with the increasing demand on our service.”