Patient's praise for "marvellous service"
An Ipswich patient receiving treatment for chronic breathing problems has praised an “absolutely marvellous” service which brings the expert help she needs directly to her doorstep.
Gloria Ellis, who lives in Ipswich, said the specially targeted care she has received from Suffolk COPD Services, which is provided across the county by West Suffolk Hospital, had made an enormous difference to her life. She has now encouraged others with the illness to make the most of the services on offer.
“I cannot praise the service enough. It really is marvellous and I’ve been just so overwhelmed by it,” said Mrs Ellis, who was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder in 2004.
“I was referred into the service following my last hospital admission. I was asked if I wanted to see one of the specialist COPD nurses and given the option of going home to have my condition managed there instead of in hospital. I jumped at the chance.
“The treatment I’ve had since has been marvellous. You’re still looked after as if you are in hospital, but from the comfort of your own home, which is fantastic. There is also someone at the end of the phone if you need them, which just makes you feel altogether different about your illness as you know you’ll be looked after, but won’t have to be stuck in hospital.
“I would encourage anyone else with COPD to ask their GP to refer them. Find out as much as you can about the service and make sure you use it.”
The county-wide service has been designed to provide more care closer to home for the 8,000 people in the county who suffer from COPD, in turn significantly reducing the need for them to be admitted into hospital.
It is run by a team of specialist nurses, who work alongside GPs, practice nurses and community matrons to provide care in the most appropriate setting for each individual. This can include at hospital, in people’s homes or within the community.
As part of the extensive package of care on offer, the nurses travel to people’s homes to assess their clinical condition, arranging delivery of oxygen as and when needed. The team travel in fully equipped cars, which mean they can do everything in the patient’s home, with the exception of a chest x-ray which if required, would normally need to be carried out at hospital. In addition, the physiotherapists hold pulmonary rehabilitation courses in community settings, such as leisure facilities, gyms and village halls.
“We are really pleased that the service has been so well received by our patients,” said nurse consultant Linda Pearce, clinical lead for Suffolk COPD Services.
“One of its key aims is to decrease the feeling of isolation which some patients may suffer by encouraging them to become more independent, while also offering them expert, tailored care in the most appropriate setting for their needs. For most, this will be in their own homes – which evidence shows can significantly help a patient’s recovery.
“We are now hoping that more patients from the east of the county will start using the service, and would encourage anyone with COPD who would like to find out more to speak to their GP or another healthcare professional. After all, we’re here to help – and our current patients have shown our services can make a massive difference.”
Anyone with COPD who would like more information about the service can visit www.copdsuffolk.com or alternatively speak to their GP, practice nurse or community matron.