COPD – Invest in expert care to keep patients out of hospital
The Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have today responded to the publication of ‘Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Time to breathe better’ a report by the National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Programme.
The main findings were that many patients had good access to pulmonary rehabilitation. However, concerns continue about the variability of services and access to specialist care in particular.
Amanda Cheesley, Professional Lead for Long Term Conditions and End of Life Care at the RCN said:
“As with many long term conditions, COPD symptoms can be distressing and can have a serious impact on the lives and daily activities of people and their families. However, the good news is that with expert support from specialist nurses, these conditions can be managed and quality of life maintained.
“Clinical nurse specialists have a very high level of experience and expertise, and pulmonary rehabilitation is an important tool for managing these conditions, keeping patients well and out of hospital. Yet much of the funding for this proven therapy is short term and its future uncertain. Losing it is a false economy as patients can easily deteriorate without the right support.”
Katy Beckford, a respiratory and cardiac specialist nurse and Executive Committee member for the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists, said:
“ARNS welcomes this report, which highlights the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation in keeping our patients as well as possible and getting the most out of life.
“The respiratory clinical nurse specialists are in a unique position to support this and have a fundamental role in the management and support of patients while in hospital and the community. By working across the multi-disciplinary team and in collaboration with respiratory physiotherapists, significant improvements can be made for many patients.
“However, there needs to be additional investment to ensure that all areas have good access to pulmonary rehabilitation, reducing variation and improving care further for people living with COPD.
“As well as being able to refer all patients who would benefit, it is also vital that patients have support to finish their course, get an individual home exercise programme and are regularly reviewed to ensure that improvements to care can be made.”
See the report here Nat COPD Audit Prog_Pulmonary Rehab Org Audit 2015_Exec Summary_WEB