Breathing easier

PRESSURE on hospital beds in Ipswich could be eased through a new scheme treating people with breathing difficulties in their own home.People with chronic breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema can now be treated at home after being discharged, which should see the end of long hospital stays.

PRESSURE on hospital beds in Ipswich could be eased through a new scheme treating people with breathing difficulties in their own home.

People with chronic breathing problems such as bronchitis or emphysema can now be treated at home after being discharged, which should see the end of long hospital stays.

A new outreach respiratory team will be on hand to go into patients' homes every day to make sure they are getting the care that they need.

The scheme is being introduced as a six month pilot.


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The team will include a clinical specialist physiotherapist and two senior nurses who are highly experienced in respiratory care.

Around 900,000 people with severe breathing difficulties are admitted to hospitals in the UK every year.

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It is estimated that one in eight patients in hospital at any one time are being treated for chronic breathing difficulties.

Ally Roberts is superintendent physiotherapist at the hospital.

She said: "We've developed a whole protocol of care for people with severe breathing problems so their stay in hospital is reduced significantly."

Once patients reach hospital they will be assessed and then things will be put in place so their treatment can be continued at home while still staying under the care of their consultant.

Ms Roberts said: "Being cared for at home is much more reassuring for people with severe breathing problems.

"More emphasis and time can also be spent helping the patients and their carers know more about how to cope with and manage their illness.

"There is a fast track access also in place for people to come back into hospital if this is needed."

Paul Forden, chief executive of the hospital said: "This is a very important service and one, which could bring many benefits.

"The first and most important is to people who can be cared for in their own home.

"It could also mean less pressure on beds within the hospital which will benefit our whole community."

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