Team Focus – COPD Service

1 Jan 2015 Written by Nadia Tavana

This month, the spotlight is on our COPD Team.

The COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) team is made up of 8 clinical staff.  COPD is an umbrella term for Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema and Chronic Asthma. People with COPD have trouble breathing due to long-term damage to the lungs, often because of smoking. Due to Bristol’s strong history of maritime and industrial trade, and the cigarette and tobacco industry, our city has been identified as a COPD hotspot. The team provides a service which encourages both patients and healthcare professionals to improve local respiratory health.

There are two separate services for patients – Hospital at Home and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Hospital at Home aims to treat patients in their own home in order to prevent hospital admissions. The team treats around 325 patients a year. The number of Hospital at Home patients can vary massively, however the workload always increases over the winter months. As part of pulmonary rehabilitation, respiratory patients attend a 2 hour session twice a week for a period of 6 weeks, in groups of up to 16. The sessions involve individualised exercises and education to improve patient knowledge and understanding of their condition, and encourage self-management. Self-management enables patients to maintain their independence for longer and feel in control of their health needs.

The team also offers training to community matrons, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, as well as GPs and practice nurses. Supporting healthcare staff to understand COPD can help reduce hospital admissions, and keep patients in their own home. Admission avoidance is a large part of the team’s aims.

Watch our patients take part in the COPD “Better Breathing” programme on our YouTube channel – click here to view.