Development of Respiratory Services in the Western Isles

A number of developments have taken place recently to further improve Respiratory Services in the Western Isles and the management of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

NHS Western Isles has established a new Respiratory Managed Clinical Network (RMCN), which will ensure the equitable provision of high quality, clinically effective services for those with respiratory conditions in the Western Isles. In the Western Isles more than 400 people have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and more than 1,600 with asthma. Respiratory disease is a major reason for hospital admission and is the fifth largest cause of premature death.

Also recently introduced is a new ‘Local Enhanced Service’ to improve the management of patients with COPD in primary care, which ensures that each medical practice has an identified lead for the development of services for COPD patients on their register.

Chair of the Respiratory MCN, Phil Tilley said: “The Respiratory MCN has already provided training in the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for staff working in primary and secondary care across the islands. Seven students recently attended the Essentials of COPD workshop, 24 attended a spirometry workshop and a further 15 are in the process of completing the COPD diploma module.  The training will raise awareness of a greatly under-diagnosed condition and will also ensure that patients are identified, assessed, monitored and managed appropriately and effectively.”

He added: “The MCN is currently developing a pulmonary rehabilitation service for those with COPD. This is a very exciting development that has been shown to improve quality of life, ability to participate in exercise and to reduce breathlessness.”

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