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NIHR CLAHRC Wessex Respiratory team on the shortlist for national nursing award

23 June 2015

The Integrated Respiratory Care research team has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Awards 2015 for its work in identifying people who are vulnerable to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD as it is known.

COPD is more widely spread in our community than first thought, with many cases of the illness not being spotted early enough or reported to doctors. It is thought there are hundreds of people within Wessex with the condition  who aren't getting the right treatment.

It causes a narrowing of the airways to and within the lungs, making it harder to breath and causing dizziness. The main culprit is smoking, but it can be caused by other conditions.  

A team of nurses working with the Respiratory Care research team led by Dr Tom Wilkinson and Professor Mike Thomas, worked at the start of this year with the Wessex AHSN and West Hampshire CCG to review the health records of patients at two GPs surgeries. They then identified those patients at risk of COPD, or those who were finding it hard to manage the illness. From there they held specialist clinics to help those patients improve their health and the way they look after themselves. The result was better care and health for those patients, and specialist training for practice nurses and GPs on spotting the illness.

The aim of the research team is to be able to help spot the disease earlier, improve the support for and health of those people with COPD, and ultimately to reduce the numbers of patients admitted to hospitals with severe cases.


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