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Trust's new COPD area officially opens

May 2019

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has opened a new area for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD.)

COPD, a common lung disease that obstructs the airways and makes breathing difficult, is currently one of the most common respiratory diseases in the Wigan area.

As part of the unit’s move the Trust will now be able to see twice as many patients, seating ten patients at any one time.

The unit has come a long way from its early days when the service was first offered at the Trust when it was limited to one chair and a bedside table in a ward.

The COPD area was officially opened by Chief Executive, Andrew Foster, who performed a ribbon cutting ceremony in the presence of staff and members from a support group.

Andrew Foster officially opens the new area

Speaking at the opening Andrew said; “I’d like to thank you all for the effort that has gone into this move.

“It was lovely to meet so many regular COPD patients and hear directly how much they appreciate the staff and the service. This will now be even better thanks to the much improved environment.”

These were sentiments echoed by Joanne Wright, Lead COPD Specialist Nurse, who said; “I’d like to thank all of the staff that have contributed to our unit moving.

“It feels brilliant to be in our unit and I’m so happy because I know our patients are going to get an even better service from us now.”

Patients can either self-refer or be referred by a medical professional into the COPD team who will conduct a nurse-led assessment and produce a treatment package for patients at home.

Patients will be seen at home two to three times a week for the following fortnight and receive weekly follow up phone calls prior to a round-up assessment six weeks after the initial assessment.

As well this, patients are seen in the unit when experiencing an exacerbation of their COPD symptoms and require urgent treatment.

Joanne added; “All of the team is passionate about the service we provide to our patients.

“We like to make sure everyone that comes into the unit is met with a friendly smile, a pleasant introduction and, most importantly, offered a cup of tea.”

Part of this passion comes in the form of a support group which was set up 18 months ago to help maintain the link with patients and help relieve their anxieties around receiving treatment.

The group is open to anyone with COPD or respiratory disease as well as their families and friends and meets on the last Wednesday of every month in Hindley Tesco between 3pm and 5pm.

Members of staff and the support group staying strong