Respiratory centre rewarded for leading COPD treatment

The Respiratory Centre team at Southampton General Hospital has been rewarded for advancing the development of treatment for people with breathing difficulties.
Charitable organisation The Health Foundation selected the team as winners of the 2009 Shine award, which recognises new approaches to delivering care that improve quality and save money.
Led by Dr Simon Bourne, consultant respiratory physician, Tom Wilkinson, specialist registrar, and charge nurse Jon Watson, staff demonstrated how their innovative package of care for sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is leading the field in the UK.
Patients already known to the centre are able to refer themselves directly with their GP’s consent, or be sent in via their GP. They then have constant access, when required, to specialist healthcare professionals, nurse-led local clinics, community home visits and palliative care.
The centre's innovative 'hospital at home' scheme has also taken the strain off of hospital resources by aiming to discharge patients early and treat them in the comfort of their own home. 
A team of specialist community nurses visit patients at home to advise them how to manage their condition and are backed up by a 24-hour helpline for emergencies. People are also seen at community clinics in Bitterne and Shirley.
The Health Foundation will invest £59,000 to continue developing methods of working that make better use of existing resources and improve patient experience as part of Shine status. This will include the development of GP educational packages.
“We are extremely pleased with the added support this award gives us and we hope to continue progressing with our aim of offering patients the best possible care,” Dr Bourne said.
The Respiratory Centre was recently shortlisted for the Health Service Journal’s Managing Long Term Care award.
COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK and usually affects people over 40 years of age. Around 900,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with the disease, though another 2,000,000 may have the condition without realising it. COPD causes 30,000 deaths a year.
Posted on Thursday 28 January 2010