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Major partnership launched to reduce NHS pressures and improve lung disease care

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is delighted to announce over £300,000 worth of funding to support partnership projects with Health Boards across Scotland to reduce NHS pressures and improve lung disease care.

The new package of investment will fund new roles to work with the NHS to better coordinate efforts to keep people happy and healthy at home and reduce NHS pressures through our Hospital to Home services. The projects funded are:

  • £150,000 towards the development of a Community Respiratory Team in NHS Grampian which will provide wraparound care at all stages of lung disease.
  • £53,000 to fund a Specialist Community Respiratory Nurse in NHS Highland who will work within the existing teams to support respiratory nursing care and reduce unscheduled care.
  • £50,000 to fund a Respiratory Pathway Development Lead in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde who will advocate for respiratory services and ensure smooth coordination between NHS and other partner services including Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.
  • £50,000 to fund a Respiratory Clinical Fellow in NHS Lothian who will deliver a Rapid Access Respiratory Ambulatory Clinic Service in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The funding provided will help give people living with lung disease the tools to manage their conditions and keep well at home, helping to prevent re-admissions to hospital. It will improve community care for people living with chest conditions in these areas and better integrate third sector support with NHS services to help alleviate pressures.

Alleviating pressures

Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: "Respiratory services have been seriously impacted by the pandemic and are under extreme pressure. We’re delighted to deepen our partnerships with some of the biggest Heath Boards in the country to improve care and reduce pressures on our NHS.

"By investing in improving links to community care and further integrating our Hospital to Home service into these respiratory departments, we can provide the care and support that people need at home and in their communities.

"We can make sure people living with chronic chest conditions have the tools and support to manage their condition and live well at home. In turn this will help to prevent people returning to hospital and alleviate some of the pressures that our respiratory departments are facing."

Humza Yousaf MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, also welcomed the news.

He said: "I commend and thank Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland for the vital work they are doing across Scotland to support people living with lung disease and respiratory conditions. Their work in supporting people to get back home from hospital and live well is so important, while also reducing some of the pressure on NHS services.

"That is why I welcome this collaboration and investment, and the opportunities a partnership between NHS boards and CHSS offers."

Making a difference for people like Joan

The funding will help to ensure people with chest conditions get the support they need to recover and stay well at home. It will make a huge difference for people like Joan.

Joan Brooks, 71, lives in Musselburgh, East Lothian. She was diagnosed with the lung condition COPD in 2017 and has been hospitalised several times because of breathing difficulties.

Joan welcomed the CHSS respiratory care funding for NHS Lothian, saying: "COPD is a very difficult condition and affects my health in so many other ways. It will be so good to have a fast-response unit locally because it can be very frightening when you need emergency help.

"Knowing there is a rapid service available to provide immediate help and support will take away a lot of the stress from a difficult situation.

"I’m thrilled that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland are supporting people like me with the funding for this service."

Collaboration across Scotland

The funding will support four Health Boards across Scotland, NHS Grampian, NHS Highland, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and NHS Lothian.

Dr Kris McLaughlin, GP and Respiratory MCN Clinical Lead for NHS Grampian, said:

"The funding we’re receiving from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland to establish a CHSS Community Respiratory Team will allow us to provide wraparound care to people living with respiratory conditions in Grampian.

"The team will tackle respiratory illness at all stages from early diagnosis, supported self-management, acute illness and chronic disease management in both primary and secondary care. This approach to respiratory care will improve patient’s access to the right care, improve exacerbation rates, reduce hospital admissions and help tackle outpatient waiting list backlogs.

"By integrating this community team into our existing respiratory care models, we can provide an integrated and cohesive service between primary care, secondary care and allied health teams."

Dr Lorna Murray, Consultant Respiratory Physician, NHS Highland, said:

"We’re delighted to be working with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and to receive funding to recruit a Specialist Community Respiratory Nurse who will work closely with our community care team and respiratory ward teams.

"Collaboration with third sector services is a crucial way to develop respiratory care in Highland and support more people living with chest conditions in our communities. The new role will help to improve responsive respiratory nursing care and reduce unscheduled care by supporting people and their families to self-manage their conditions."

Dr David Anderson, Consultant Respiratory Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:

"In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, we want to develop services which provide safe support for patients who experience flare ups of their conditions in their homes.

"The funding from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland will enable us to appoint a clinician to the role of Respiratory Pathway Development Lead who will advocate for respiratory services and ensure smooth coordination between existing care pathways.

"Ultimately, we hope that acute exacerbations of chronic lung conditions are offered a seamless, safe and holistic service, limiting hospital stay and maximising rehabilitation and recovery."

Dr Gourab Choudhury, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Lead for Respiratory Managed Clinical Network and COPD care in NHS Lothian, said:

"By 2033 the number of people over 75 using NHS Healthcare is likely to have increased significantly. There will be a continuing shift in the pattern of disease towards long-term conditions particularly with growing numbers of older people with multiple conditions and complex needs such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which causes breathing difficulties.

"We therefore need to make developments that will best support the needs of the future. The funding from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland will allow us to recruit a Respiratory Clinical Fellow in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to further support the delivery of a Rapid Access Respiratory Ambulatory Clinic Service amidst other supporting services to shift the respiratory hub as much as possible to the community. This service would give patients quick access to respiratory care and support and therefore potentially reduce situations that escalate and result in the need to attend our hospital Emergency Departments."

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